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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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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