Texas Senators To Examine Longer School Day, Year

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Top education leaders in the Texas Senate are examining ways to improve classroom learning, including extending school days and school years.
Democratic Sen. Royce West of Dallas is filling in as chairman Thursday for a Senate Education Committee meeting. Members will also discuss ways to improve learning within the normal parameters of the school day and year.
They will hear testimony on after-school programs and their effects on student academic performance, school attendance and behavior, as well as drop-out rates among high schoolers.
The meeting will also focus on building school-community partnerships to foster learning opportunities outside the classroom.
The committee's Chairwoman, Republican Sen. Florence Shapiro of Plano, is retiring and thus allowing other members to run meetings ahead of the start of the legislative session in January.