Out on the campaign trail advocating for Amendment 66 (the election is over tomorrow… YAY!), state senator Michael Johnston (D-Denver) has used a variety of points to make the case for the billion-dollar statewide tax increase. One that showed up in a recent email report would be one that many Denver-area residents might gloss over. He touts having driven 28,000 miles for 600 meetings with 7,000 people, then writes:
I am grateful that my kids can still go to school five days a week in a state where 80 school districts can only keep the doors open 4 days a week.
The email message is not the only place the theme has been delivered. Among other places, Johnston also mentioned the four-day week as a plug for Amendment 66 on a recent Colorado Public Radio debate with my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow.
The statement contains a grain of truth. As the Denver Post reported last year, about 80 of the state’s 179 school districts now operate on a four-day week. But why? Because these overwhelmingly rural districts all would like to have five days of school, but can’t afford it? Not so fast. For a significant number of them, it’s not a matter that they can’t keep the doors open on Friday (or maybe Monday), but that they won’t do so. Continue Reading »