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Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 9:52am

Schools Trim Days to Cope with Budget Crisis

School systems across the state are getting creative with the school calendar to make up for budget cuts. Two more Georgia school systems are going to a four day week next year.

Students in Haralson and Wilcox counties will have Mondays off , but they’ll be in school 30 extra minutes each day.

Superintendent Brett Stanton of Haralson County near Carrollton says it will help make up for the loss of state funding.

"We’re guestimating close to $400,000 will be our cost savings if everything goes well and we’re basing it on utilities and fuel costs that will be saved by not running our buses on Mondays and closing our facilities on Mondays," says Stanton.

Stanton says before following the example of Peach County-- the only system on a four day week last year-- they considered shortening the school calendar and giving students an extra month off in the summer as Murray County in North Georgia has done.

Several school systems are extending the day by the minutes in order to shave calendar days

Craig Davoulas with Walker County schools in North west Georgia says they’re cutting 11 days.

"The student day has been extended generally around 10- 15 minutes each day in most of our schools and teachers are on duty about an extra half hour per day," says Davoulas.

Davoulas says the change won’t affect teacher pay.

State law requires 180 instructional days or the equivalent in hours.

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