Senator Kamala Harris, also the Democrat vice presidential candidate, came up with a new genius idea that I am sure she used both of her braincells to come up with: longer school days!
On Wednesday, Harris introduced a bill to lengthen school days by three hours, putting schools ending at 6 p.m. rather than the average 2 p.m. to 3p.m. She claims that it would help parents with their work schedule.
"My mother raised my sister and me while working demanding, long hours," Harris said. "So, I know firsthand that, for many working parents, juggling between school schedules and work schedules is a common cause of stress and financial hardship. But, this does not have to be the case."
"My bill provides an innovative solution that will help reduce the burden of child care on working families. It is time we modernize the school schedule to better meet the needs of our students and their families," she added
Five-year grants of up to $5 million would go to school districts serving a high number of low-income families to push the end of the average school day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in 500 schools. School days typically start at 8 a.m. Teachers and faculty, the bill says, would not have to work additional hours unless they sign up for an extra shift, for which they would be compensated at the rate they get during normal school hours.
The bill proposes that the grant money go to extracurricular activities like electives in "music, arts, athletics, writing and engineering," Harris' senate office told CNBC. The extra time can also go toward dance and theater programs, among other enrichment activities, the office said. but it leaves the scheduling of the day open to school administrators.
Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado are co-sponsoring the bill. The legislation, named the Family Friendly Schools Act, targets low-income and working families who can't afford to pay for child care in between the time a student finishes with school and a parent returns home from work.
Continue reading on CNBC
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