The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 31, 2013

Missouri governor proposes longer school year

From staff reports

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed adding more than a week to Missouri’s 174-day academic year, bringing it to 180 days.

“Adding six more days to the next school year will give teachers more time to work with their students and give kids more time to learn,” he said in his Jan. 28 State of the State address.

Nixon said Missouri currently has the fourth-shortest school year in the nation. State law mandates 174 days for schools with a five-day week, 142 days for schools with a four-day week and at least 1,044 hours of instructional time.

Several superintendents of local school districts say they support having more instructional time for students. But they said the governor’s proposal comes with unanswered questions, such as how the extra days would be funded by the state or distributed within the academic calendar.

Students say they are not opposed to the proposal — as long as it doesn’t interfere with their coveted summer vacation.