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Current Events

Will a longer school day lead to happier families
(and smarter kids)?

Current Events

What Happened

  • Who: Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced legislation Wednesday called the Family Friendly Schools Act.
  • What: Extends the school day by 3 hours (typically from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Why: To ease the burden of childcare on low-income/working families.
Current Events

“It is time we modernize the school schedule to better meet the needs of our students and their families.”

Senator Kamala Harris who introduced the bill that would provide extra money (grants) to 500 schools in low-income communities over the course of five years. The extended day may NOT necessarily include more class time - individual schools would determine how students spent their time whether in instruction or theater, sports, etc.
Current Events

Is This Good For Students?

  • Avg. school day nationwide is around 6.5 hours – This would increase it to 10.
  • “Extended Learning Time” or ELT is a trend in schools across the country, more than doubling between 2009 – 2018.
  • Data mixed on the benefits for children. Some districts say it improved test scores; others say it didn’t.
Current Events

Something To Consider

One recent study in 2015 looked at longer days at school with SHORTER weeks. Some districts have tried this in rural areas or as a cost-saving measure.

5th graders attending school 4 days per week instead of 5 showed a “statistically significant” increase in math scores with the shorter weeks, and no detriment to reading scores.

Current Events

Sen. Harris' plan includes asking the Dept of Education to study the results of schools that receive the grants for extended days to see if the longer school day benefited students and families. What do you think about this idea?

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