Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finding Dollars to Do Right by Students

I’ve written a lot about all the benefits for our young students of expanding the amount of time they have for learning in school. (See my May 14, May 15 and June 14 blog posts.) More time and support for learning is one of the priorities of the ED in 08 campaign.

Now, I get asked about who would pay for this extra learning time, and that’s a fair question. We’re not here to dictate all the answers, but we do have some suggestions. (I always encourage your thoughts on these ideas.)

Here’s just one possibility, and it’s a good one, because it can make more time available in more schools without having to raise any additional money at all. And it doesn’t involve smoke and mirrors either!

Under current federal law, schools that fall short of annual progress goals for three years in a row have to use some of their federal funding to pay for after-school tutoring if parents want it.  I’m not taking a position on that rule, but from what I’ve read, a lot of parents don’t’ take them up on it.  So why not allow schools to use those funds to expand learning time for all students?

That’s just one possibility. I suspect there are other ways to use existing public funds to pay for expanded learning time. I know we have a lot of educators reading this. Have you heard of any similar opportunities? What do you think? Let me know.


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