INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The switch to a 4-day school week is already paying off in Independence, Missouri.
The school district says it’s seeing a record number of job applications. This comes exactly one month after the school board approved the switch to a 4-day week for the upcoming school year in the fall.
It’s good news for the district but some state politicians are trying to make it harder for Missouri schools to make the switch to 4-day weeks.
The biggest reason is that it impacts everyone, not just students and staff.
One state representative tells FOX4 the move by Independence is hurting working-class families and soaring inflation.
“The whole community is going to be affected by this because it reduces the time and hours people can work,” State Rep. McMullen, R-Independence, said.
On Tuesday, McMullen plans to file a bill in direct response to Independence schools. It says that if a school board votes to go to a 4-day week, it must be voted and approved by a majority of voters living in that district.
“We’ve never seen an influx of applications as we have just recently,” said Independence Schools Superintendent Dale Herl.
The move comes as Independence schools report a record number of job applications in the last three months.
“From October 1 to January 9 of last year, we received 91 total applications,” Herl said. “This year, for the same time period, we’ve received 507.
A 450% increase. Herl says they’ve already hired several positions with many applicants expressing interest in the 4-day week.
Among those are veteran teachers who’d left the district to either work elsewhere or be at home with their kids.
Still, they’re struggling to attract bus drivers and paraprofessionals, issues impacting schools across the U.S.
“This shows that people want to work in a 4-day school,” Herl said. “This was all about retaining and recruiting staff, both teachers and classified staff as well.”
“You know, what I find curious about that is there’s nothing about the families and the children,” McMullen said in response. “Honestly, I think we could retain and retract very good candidates for teachers if we increase pay.”
The bill will likely head to a committee where it’ll undergo several revisions.
FOX4 did reach out to three other districts in the Kansas City area to see how many applications they’re getting. As of this report, we have yet to receive that information from any of them.