Toscano Proposes Extending School Year

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Your child may soon be spending more time at school if  Delegate David Toscano has his way.  We're talking ten extra days every year - but it won't happen all at once - it will happen over a ten-year period.

57th District Delegate David Toscano (D) is the sponsor of a bill to extend the school year. The bill is on the docket for Thursday's education teachers and administration subcommittee meeting.

Toscano said, "My bill is a very modest bill. It says increase the number of days people attend school by one day a year for the next ten years. That would take us to essentially 190 days a year that children will be in school."

His idea comes from other countries and his belief that their education systems are putting a higher caliber of students. Toscano says the numbers speak for themselves.

Right now students in the United States spend 180 days in school. In Finland they spend 190 days in class, in China its 195, and in Japan, they spend 243 days in class. What all these countries have in common, is higher test scores in math, science, and reading.

Toscano said, "They've decided to invest in education. We need to make sure that we have those children in the classroom where they can be learning."

But Charlottesville School Board Member Juan Wade wants to make sure it's done right.  "We certainly wouldn't want to be in school for a longer period of time just to be some glorified babysitter. We want that to be real instructional time and of course with that additional time, how would we pay for it?" He stated.

Toscano does not have the answer to that question yet, but he does know it will cost something, saying "we are going to have to work through those numbers and incorporate it into the next budget, not this one."

Reported by Derick Waller
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