‘We’re only requiring the minimum of them,’ controversy over Oklahoma 4 day school weeks

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WAGONER, Okla.-- On Monday's When most kids are in school  14-year old Abby Riggs is working on her YouTube Channel.

Her 17-year-old sister Olivia is busy coaching cheerleading.

And they're not alone because, in Wagoner, Oklahoma, kids only go to school 4-days a week.

They do have an extra hour of class added to the days they do attend.

"Even though the days are longer, I still like having Monday off," says Abby Riggs.

Four day school weeks are a growing trend across Oklahoma, a state facing a crippling budget crisis and a teacher shortage.

Last year the number of districts on a four day week nearly doubled from 51 to 97 -- or about 20 percent statewide.

Randy Harris is with the school district and says last year they saved $180,000.00

Those savings came on items like transportation, substitutes, and utilities.

Because of that savings, the district could retain more teachers, in fact, they were able to re-instate art classes.

But with Oklahoma schools ranked in the bottom half in the nation, some state officials call it a tragedy.

"Because I don't think it's good for kids. We have no evidence that says that this is helpful, that this increases student outcomes," said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

But it softens the blow for some teachers who haven't had a pay raise in nearly a decade.

"You know in our community we feel teachers are valued, but statewide we don't at all," said Stephanie Rexwinkle, Wagoner Teacher.

Meanwhile, Abby and Olivia's mother, Heather, has adjusted to the new schedule but still has concerns over the example it sets for the kids.

"We're only requiring the minimum of them which is kind of upsetting because that's not the way the world works," said Heather Riggs.

For thousands of students a bold experiment in cutting costs while trying to improve quality.

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