INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence School District Superintendent Dale Herl is concerned lawmakers may prevent his district from going to a four-day week in 2023-2024.
“If legislation passes depending on what that looks like, not only would that impact Independence, but it would impact every school district in the state of Missouri,” Herl said in an interview with FOX4 Wednesday.
Herl says more than 140 school districts in the state currently have a four-day week. There are more than 500 school districts statewide.
“There is broad bipartisan support to get this done,” Democratic State Senator Doug Beck of St. Louis County said to FOX4 Wednesday.
Beck was the lawmaker who proposed adding a mandatory five-day school week amendment into Senate Bill 4 or the ‘Parents Bill of Rights.’ Wednesday though, it did not so go in, so the Independence School District can continue with their planned four-day school week which would begin next year.
“This goes completely against local control,” Herl said of the lawmakers idea. “Every school district has a dually elected school board that makes these decisions. This is quite a bit of overreach by the state legislature to come in and take away that control from local school boards.”
Herl says teacher applications have gone up by 530% since they’ve announced they’re going to a four-day school week. The four-day school week is supposed to start in August of 2023. Beck wonders when the reduction of school days per week will stop though.
“Say two years from now, every school district in the state is going to four days,” Beck said. “Now it’s no longer an incentive right? So, what do we do? Do we go to three days?”
Beck thinks his amendment could be attached to another education bill later this session.