5 states to increase class time in some schools - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

5 states to increase class time in some schools

WASHINGTON (AP) -- School for thousands of public school students is about to get quite a bit longer.

Five states will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the 2013 calendar in some schools. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee are part of a nationwide initiative to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.

The three-year pilot program will affect almost 20,000 students in 40 schools. Schools will work with districts, parents and teachers to decide whether to make the school day longer, add more days to the school year or both.

A mix of federal, state and district funds will cover the costs. The Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning will also chip in resources.

Education officials say spending more time in the classroom will give students access to a more well-rounded curriculum, individualized help for students who fall behind and opportunities to reinforce critical math and science skills.

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