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Kamala Harris to introduce bill encouraging schools to extend hours, Mother Jones reports

On Wednesday US Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is set to introduce legislation that would encourage public…

By Jenny Scordamaglia , in Politics , at November 6, 2019 Tags: , ,

On Wednesday US Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is set to introduce legislation that would encourage public schools to extend their hours and better align with the workday, Mother Jones first reported. Harris’ Senate bill will call for schools to partner with local organizations in the community to provide a mix of after-school activities for students.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is lucky that children can’t vote in the Democratic primaries.

The presidential hopeful is introducing a bill that would extend the school day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, Mother Jones reports. That might elicit groans from kids, but upon closer review, the bill isn’t really making them sit at their desks and learn long division all the way through the afternoon. Instead, Harris is hoping to better accommodate families who are burdened by working hours that don’t line up with the typical school day that ends at 3 p.m.

Harris’ bill would introduce a pilot program that gives money to 500 schools serving a high proportion of low-income families, Mother Jones reports. Those schools would adjust to the new hours, only closing for weekends, federal holidays, and emergencies, to make it easier for parents to balance work and childcare. The program structure is reportedly purposefully vague and will allow for parents, teachers, and community members to weigh in on best practices during the first year, with the Education Department publishing a review five years into the experiment.

Students reportedly would not have to spend all that extra time in the classroom, and teachers — many of whom are fed up with their long hours and low pay already — would not be forced to extend their workday.

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