(WFLA) – Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) thinks the school day should look more like a workday.
The presidential hopeful introduced a bill that would extend the school day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mother Jones reports. The bill has five Democratic co-sponsors.
Harris explained the reasoning behind the bill in a statement, saying it would help working parents who struggle to find childcare between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The typical school day in America ends around 3 p.m., which is hours before 70 percent of parents stop working, according to Harris.
“My mother raised my sister and me while working demanding, long hours,” Harris wrote. “So, I know firsthand that, for many working parents, juggling between school schedules and work schedules is a common cause of stress and financial hardship. But, this does not have to be the case.”
The bill proposes a pilot program that would give 500 schools serving mainly low-income families five-year grants of up to $5 million to lengthen the school day, along with $1.3 billion for summer programming.
The school day would run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with no closures, except for weekends, federal holidays and emergencies, according to Mother Jones.
Under Harris’ plan, teachers and faculty are not required to work additional hours, and the extra time would be used for extracurricular activities. Teachers can, however, sign up for an extra shift and be paid the rate they get during normal schools hours.
The grant money will go toward “music, arts, athletics, writing and engineering,” and summer programming, Harris’ senate office told CNBC.
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