There are nine public school districts in El Paso County, including the San Elizario Independent School District, which has about 3,000 students enrolled.

Of the more than 1,250 public school districts in Texas, SEISD is one of only 77 that has implemented a four-day workweek.

Superintendent Jeannie Meza-Chavez told Ramon Bracamontes of El Paso Matters that the reasons for the change are (1) to improve recruiting and retention of qualified teachers, and (2) to improve their quality of life.

She stated that “Mindful Eagle Mondays” will allow employees and students “to seek self-care opportunities.”

We are not making this up.

The new schedule went into effect this semester and Bracamonte reports that it is popular with 73% of SEISD employees. He also reports that there have been no objections from parents at any of the four meetings of the Board of Trustees since the school year began.

Apparently attendance is up slightly since the new workweek was adopted and there is higher demand for available teacher positions. Moreover, the district’s electricity and fuel bills are less than at the same time last year.

But how will students benefit academically from this change, now that they are required to be at school continuously from 7:20am to 4:50pm four days each week?

The answer is zero.

Students will be mentally exhausted by late afternoon, Tuesday through Friday, while employees get to enjoy three-day weekends for the same salary as before.

There will also be substantially less time for after-school athletics and other activities.

This is happening at a time when student enrollment our local public school districts is plummeting as school budgets sink beneath the weight of their bloated bureaucracies.