BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County officials are considering a plan that would add 15 more minutes to the school day, a recommendation that will eventually make it to the superintendent’s desk.
A task force made the argument that the extra time would help meet the state’s mandates for how many days kids are required to be in school, give the district more wiggle room to accommodate for bad weather days and return to the days when spring break was an entire week.
“At the end of the day that’s what this is all about, ensuring that we are striking a right balance to deliver the best class education that we can deliver to our kids,” said Nick Stuart, Baltimore County School Board co-chair.
The state requires students to spend at least 180 days in school, and that adds up to well over a thousand hours each year.
Some parents support the idea.
“I think that’s great. I think that would be a good idea,” said parent Carlene Jones.
“I think that children should get as much education as they possibly can,” Another parent, Joi Turner, said.
15 minutes a day adds up to an hour and 15 minutes a week. That’s also an additional 45 hours teachers will have to work.
The union supports the move, as long as members are getting paid.
“Most of the teachers that I talk to are willing to do this work, as long as they are paid for it. They are not willing to keep giving away their time for free,” said Abby Beytin, President of the Teachers’ Association of Baltimore County.
This proposal could cost $24 million. A school board member said part of that expense will go toward paying teachers. There will be a public hearing regarding the proposal September 20.