A study conducted by the Oklahoma State Department of Education suggests that four-day school weeks may not be as cost effective as previously thought.

Many districts have resorted to exploring four-day school weeks as cuts to state aid put pressure on district budgets. A survey by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association early this month determined that at least 44 school districts are considering adopting a four-day school week or shortening the school year. An overwhelming majority of districts have considered cutting activities like art, athletics, advanced coursework and field trips, according to the survey.

With the four-day week trend picking up steam statewide, the OSDE conducted a study to find the cost effectiveness of the change. The results were, at best, varied.

The number of districts on a four-day school week almost doubled for this school year, with 97 districts trying the reduced week, according to the OSDE. The study looked at 16 districts expenditures and compared them to before they switched to the shorter week. Of the 16, nine districts actually spent more money on utilities, food, transportation and support staff after the switch. Eight of those nine also saw a decrease in Weighted Average Daily Membership, a metric used in calculating the amount of state aid funding a school will receive.

The study determined that, on average, school districts spent more on utilities and support staff, but less on food and transportation.

Wilson Public Schools was one of the 16 districts analyzed in the state study. The study determined that Wilson’s WADM decreased by 61.87 and its expenditures decreased by $2,106 between Fiscal Year 2008-2009 and Fiscal Year 2015-2016.

The district saw a slight decrease in utilities, food, transportation and support staff costs after the switch to a four-day school week.