The Missouri Legislature’s session has ended without passing restrictions on four-day school weeks.

Roughly 160 of Missouri’s more than 500 school districts have the shortened weeks in class. Most of the districts operating four days a week are rural ones, but larger districts are beginning to do the same to help recruit and retain teachers.

Last year, the Independence School District moved to adopt the four-day model. It became the state’s largest school district to make the switch. The district has more than 14,000 students.

Sen. Doug Beck, a former Affton school board member, attempted the restrictions, but the effort died in the House. The provisions were added to Senate Bill 411, a proposal about home school students.

“It wasn’t the best bill for it to be tied to,” Beck said. “I think the conversation has started and unfortunately we didn’t get it done this year, but I am determined to get it done next year. I have, we have a path, I believe, to go for. It’ll be my number one bill that I file.”

What does that path forward look like? He said it might be similar to what he proposed.

“I think that’s the best way to do it,” said Beck. “I would prefer it to be statewide and maybe I introduce the statewide and then we can tailor it back down, but I think at the end of the day, any educator I’ve ever talked to and being a former school board member, the more time you have kids in front of their teacher, the better off they’re going to be.”

Some rural lawmakers pushed back on Beck’s proposal to make the ban statewide – leading to the restrictions focusing on the areas with the larger populations.

Districts holding classes four days a week must still meet the same number of learning hours as schools operating five days a week.

Previous coverage:

Missouri inches closer to restricting four-day school weeks:

Attempt to require 5-day school weeks in urban Missouri areas receives traction in Senate:

Missouri lawmakers considering mandatory 5-day school weeks:

Will Missouri rethink the use of four-day school weeks?

A close look at four-day school weeks and its increasing popularity in Missouri (LISTEN):

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