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North Branch schools may return to 5-day weeks

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- One of the nine rural Minnesota school districts with a four-day school week is considering going back to five-day weeks.

North Branch switched to four-day weeks in 2009 to save money on energy, transportation, and substitute teachers.

But last session lawmakers made a change to the state education funding formula. The change will give the 3,200-student district north of the Twin Cities a boost of more than $1.5 million in per-pupil funding starting next fall.

Superintendent Deb Henton says she's recommending using the money to return to a five-day week to match the same schedule as most other Minnesota districts. Only nine of Minnesota's 333 districts have four-day weeks.

The North Branch School Board will vote in March on whether to approve a return to five-day weeks.