Does a Day Lost Equal Dollars Saved? The Effects of Four-Day School Weeks on School District Expenditures

21 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2019

See all articles by Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Oregon State University - Department of Economics; Oregon State University - School of Public Policy

Abstract

While cost savings is the primary motivation for the switch to four-day school weeks in many school districts, do these school schedules save school districts any money? To answer this question, this study uses a difference-in-differences analysis using a unique, self-collected longitudinal dataset of four-day school week use from 1999-2015 and National Center for Education Statistics data on school district expenditures. School districts that switch to the four-day school weeks reduce operating expenditures per pupil by 3.1 percent.The largest percentage reductions occur in spending areas where services are reduced one day per week (e.g., food service, transportation), with little to no change in instructional expenditures. Although employment in many of these student service subcategories holds steady after the switch to a four-day school week, some of the burden of reduced service provision is shifted onto hourly workers as spending on employee compensation falls for these types of services.

Keywords: four-day school weeks, school districts, expenditures

JEL Classification: H72, I21, I22

Suggested Citation

Thompson, Paul, Does a Day Lost Equal Dollars Saved? The Effects of Four-Day School Weeks on School District Expenditures. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12698, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3475804

Paul Thompson (Contact Author)

Oregon State University - Department of Economics

340 Bexell Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States

Oregon State University - School of Public Policy

340 Bexell Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
52
Abstract Views
321
rank
471,210
PlumX Metrics