Should 4 Dollar Gas=4 Day Work Week?

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school-bus-170.jpgSchool districts across the country, reacting to wicked high gas prices, are shifting to four-day work weeks—and in some cases asking kids to walk a little farther to catch the bus.

While the potential benefits of having kids walk a bit more are intriguing, is it really possible to cram five days of student learning into four?

No matter. The rising cost ($4 a gallon and rising) of running those big yellow diesel school buses is too much for some rural districts, like this one outside St. Paul, Minnesota, which said a month ago it would save about $65,000 by switching to a four-day week.

A North Carolina school district told reporters it would save $500 to $800 a day by chopping one day off the school week.

And it’s not just schools. Even folks at a state attorney’s office in McHenry County, Illinois, are getting in on the action: they’ve gone to a 40-hour, four-day work week, as have members of the Suffolk County legislature in New York; although in some cases reaction to these decisions isn’t always positive.

South Carolina’s governor signed into law $19 million for school bus fuel for the 2008-09 school year. Some Houston school employees are even getting $250 bonuses to help with commuting costs.

Some argue the personal (happier employees!) and economic/environmental benefits are worth it. Others maintain, simply, that this “half-day crap must stop”.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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