Almost every state requires children to attend more days of school than Missouri does. In fact, only five states require fewer days of class than the 174 Missouri requires. Thirty states require at least 180 days. Kansas requires 186 – more than two weeks of class beyond than Missouri demands. State Educaiton Commissioner Kent King says studies show more classroom time means more learning, although he says there’s no way he could promise six more days or 12 more days would improve scores by a particular percentage. He thinks the 174-day schedule might be outmoded by changing times and greater demands for learning. Longer school years have been discussed by the Legislature but they go almost nowhere. King says many districts hold classes for more than 174 days – that’s their option. And about 30 percent of Missouri’s students get more than that by going to summer school, most of them voluntarily. Only one district has a year-around schedule. More could. But King sees no interest in mandating a longer school year in Missouri.
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