Texomans' Thoughts On A Longer School Year

A longer school year could be the norm in years to come.  The idea already has the support of President Barack Obama. But, the President does face some opposition.

President Obama says one of the problems with the typical American school year is that kids are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year during the summer break.  For that reason, one Texoma mother says spreading school days out across the year could work.

"Just to give the kids a break during the year, and I think to give them less time in the summer to forget what they know," said Anne Harrison.

On average, U.S. schools have 180 days of instruction, while other countries have up to 197 days a year.  Those countries, like Germany and Japan, have higher student achievement levels.  But people we spoke with don't think lengthening the year is a good idea.

"No, I don't really agree with it.  I never did like school when I was young," said Kerry Marston.

"I don't believe we need a longer school year.  I think we need better schools," said Lonnie Scott.

Another man says there are enough educational opportunities during the summer even with 180-day school year.

"I don't think it should happen because we've got Headstart, programs, and stuff like that, and that's already extending the school year right there," said Adam Shumake.

Teachers' unions across the country say they're willing to discuss a longer year, but with the stipulation that teacher salaries would be a part of the conversation.

"The length of school is just gonna add cost onto the taxpayer," Scott said.

"I think having a shorter summer would be good, I think not necessarily more days in school," Harrison said.

WFISD Superintendent George Kazanas says more classroom time with a quality teacher is certainly advantageous for a student.  The main question he has with the idea is whether or not state and federal governments would pay for the extra resources needed to lengthen the school year.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6