Thursday, November 07, 2019
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris wants schools to extend open hours until 6 p.m. to help working parents, offering extracurricular activities. The Family Friendly Schools Act seeks to better align school hours with parents work hours. The school day would run normally from 8 a.m. and offer additional activities until 6 p.m. with no closures, except for weekends, federal holidays, and emergencies. "My mother raised my sister and me while working demanding, long hours, said Senator Harris in a press release. 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."
The bill proposes a pilot program be created that would give 500 schools serving mainly low-income families a five-year grant of up to $5 million to lengthen the school day, along with $1.3 billion for summer programming.
Under Harris' bill, teachers and faculty members are not required to work additional hours, and the extra time would be used for extracurricular activities. Teachers would be allowed to sign up for extra shifts and be paid the rate they get during normal school hours.
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