[Editorial] Schools should adopt 4-day weeks



Recently, many school districts in North Texas and even nationwide have been adopting a four-day school week. With the growing problem of teacher shortages, schools are getting creative in finding ways to entice teachers to enter and stay in the profession.

At the end of April 2022, the Mineral Wells Independent School District, located about 50 miles west of Fort Worth, lost quite a few teachers. Then in early May, the district lost six more teachers over a 10-day period. It was a worrisome trend for the small district, which has about 3,000 students and employs about 500 staff members, including some 230 teachers.

The Mineral Wells district’s base pay is only $45,000 for teachers, which pales in comparison to districts like the Houston Independent School District, the largest district in the state, which has raised the starting salary for teachers to $61,500 for this school year, up from $56,869 in the 2021-22 school year.

Raising teachers’ salaries makes sense because a lot of people don’t like getting paid so little for so much that they do. Teachers often have to deal with some kids that either are annoying or absolute maniacs. But since schools are limited on how much they can raise pay and some can’t even afford to give raises, the four-day school week is a good alternative.

The Mineral Wells school board voted last year on May 17 to make the switch to a four-day week starting with the 2022-2023 school year. The action was needed to attract and retain teachers during a time when educators are hard to find and more school districts should follow their lead.