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Some Kids in Oklahoma Are Only Going to School Four Days a Week Now

'VICE News Tonight' went to the town of Noble in Oklahoma to see how students, teachers, and parents are dealing with the state's major education cuts.

by VICE Staff
Oct 21 2016, 3:48pm

Over the last eight years, Oklahoma has cut education funding per student more than any other state. Now, unable to pull money from oil revenue since gas prices are at a national low, about one-third of the state's schools have been forced to implement a new four-day school week to save money.

"The initial conversations were hard. Teachers have been reluctant. I mean, you're now forced to cover all the curriculum, all the testing that's required by the state, in four days that you were five," Nathan Gray, principal at two Noble School District elementary schools, told VICE News. "Obviously it's not what we wanted."

While endless three-day weekends might seem like a dream for students in the district, it can be a nightmare for teachers and working parents scrambling to find care for their kids.

"You've got, you know, kids like mine that do have kind of special needs... it makes it really difficult to try to maneuver all that and make sure they're going to be successful," said one mom who works as a nurse and has a son with an auditory disorder.

"There's so many kids that are at home alone," said Annie Broom, who has two kids in the school district. "I mean, how much can you really squeeze into four days a week, and what are these colleges going to think?"

To find out more about how the Noble School District is dealing with the shortened school week, tune into VICE News Tonight at 7:30 PM on HBO.

UPDATE 10/21/16: An earlier version of this article misspelled Nathan Gray's last name.