Peoria Unified School District eyes move to 4-day week if state funding cut

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By Belo Content KREM By Belo Content KREM

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- A Phoenix-area school district that is one of Arizona's largest school districts by enrollment is exploring a possible switch to a four-day school week if state cuts school funding.

The 37,000-student Peoria Unified School District announced Friday that it is beginning a 30-day study of the feasibility of a four-day school week in response to Gov. Doug Ducey's proposed budget.

The district says it would be forced to make up to $5 million in reductions if Ducey's budget is enacted by the Legislature.

"Over the last five years, the district has reduced its budget by more than $24 million, including reductions to non-classroom expenses. There are few positions and services left to cut that would not adversely affect students," said Superintendent Denton Santarelli, Ed.D. "A four-day school week is one option we are reviewing as we continue to look at cost-saving measures which will also allow us to maintain high levels of service to our students and families."

According to the district, a four-day school week is among possible "creative solutions" the district will consider to reduce the impact of state funding cuts on health, safety and academics.

The district includes 34 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school.