I’m obviously catching up on my blogging. It’s hard to, when I’m on the road, especially when Brenda is traveling with me. It seems that we actually get out and do things then, rather than my holding up in a hotel room. I’m back off this morning, headed to St. Louis and then down to Osage Beach, Missouri for an administrator’s conference. Then its off to Texas for a Houston ISD professional development event. From their, I’ll fly to Philadelphia and then on to some resort by some lake for the CIU20 administrator’s conference. Makes me tired to think about it. [Illustration ((Ng, Amy. “Illustration Friday’s Open.” Amy.Ng’s Photostream. 11 Oct 2008. 4 Aug 2008 <http://flickr.com/photos/amy_ng/1546611299/>. ))]
The reason for this blurb is an article I saw in this morning’s News & Observer, the Raleigh Capital paper. It seems that many of the government services of Wayne County, in the Southeast of the state, will switch to a four-day work week. The article didn’t say when, but indications are that it’s already happened. Their projected savings are about $300,000 a year in utility bills. ((Dees, Matt. Wayne Shifts to 4-day Week.” The News & Observer [Raleigh, NC]4 Aug 2008, Triangle& Co: B1. ))
Other counties in the state are paying close attention to this experiment, including the much larger Wake (Raleigh), Durham, and Mecklenburg (Charlotte) counties. Sue Guy, Wayne County human resources director, said that she had gotten calls from 14 other NC counties and others in Florida and Virginia.
The print version of the article reported that in Utah, more than 1,000 state buildings will be closing on Fridays as the state goes to four 10-hour days a week. They expect to save $3 million annually.
I guess I have mixed feelings about this. What about services that may be lost to citizens? Is it the job of government to save money? Or is it to serve its citizens? Of course we want government to run efficiently. Well I’m not getting into that debate right now. We are in a budget crunch phase, and savings are necessary, as real revenues are not enough to pay for promised services.
But the energy crisis is not a phase. It will continue until we’ve invented some long range and sustainable solutions, not simply opening up the North Carolina coast to drilling.
So how might instruction change, if it becomes necessary to hold school for only four days a week. How would you and your students spend their long weekends? How might we leverage them?