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Austin ISD Will Close for a Week in July to Save Energy

A view from Austin ISD's headquarters on W. 6th St.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News
A view from Austin ISD's headquarters on W. 6th St.

No one really needs an excuse to take a week off in the summer, but the cash-strapped Austin Independent School District says it will save $471,000 by shutting schools and offices for five workdays in July.

All schools and offices will be closed from July 4-8. They will otherwise be on a four-day work week from June 27 to July 25. Employees will still have to put in their 40 hours during that time frame by working flexible ten-hour shifts.

Everything goes back to normal on Monday, August 1. And school resumes on Monday, August 22.
Coincidentally, the State of Utah just ended a three-year experiment in allowing employees to work four 10-hour shifts from Monday to Thursday.  In 2008, then-Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. implemented the practice with the expectation of saving about $3 million in state energy costs.  But the Utah Legislature last week decided government offices should reopen on Fridays, and Governor Gary Herbert ordered a return to the five-day work week.

Sometimes, however, governments shift work schedules by necessity. City employees in Tokyo started working an hour earlier this week to conserve energy. The city is still experiencing power shortages following the March 11 tsunami and earthquake knocked out the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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