WEST MONROE, La. (11/8/19) — United States Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris is proposing a longer school day. The senator calls this move an innovative solution created to help reduce the burden of childcare on working families.
The idea is to fix the problem of parents not having access to affordable childcare on holidays, professional development days or even just a normal workday.
Parents and students tell me they don’t think it’s a bad idea. The bill is called the Family Friendly Schools Act. In a news release Wednesday, Harris says the school day would run from 8 am until 6 pm. Its geared toward the working family; schools would stay open later to better align with a parents’ work schedule.
“I think it would be great, my daughter she likes to do anything activity wise. She’s already wanting to do cheer,” said parent Nathan Dow.
“You’ll have teachers there to help with homework for parents who may not know how to do the homework because it’s a lot harder than when we were in school,” said parent Cory Arnold.
The bill would not require teachers or administrators to work longer hours without additional pay. It would give them the choice to work more hours and be compensated fairly.
7th grade student, Madison Arnold says it could help with motivation, “Sometimes we get home and we don’t want to do homework, we just want to get on our phones, but if we’re in school we can do our homework because the teacher will want to help us. So I think it’ll be a benefit.”
This bill is supported by several organizations including the American Federation of Teachers. However, some are calling this bill unreasonable saying kids need less time in the school house.
Others say the only downside may be,” Less family time, but I mean, most people work until 5 anyway,” said Dow.
Senator Harris is also calling for $1.3 billion dollars annually to allow more children access to summer programming. She believes all of this will help to bridge the gap between families of diverse socioeconomic statuses.