D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) will introduce a bill Tuesday to extend the school day for 45,000 District public school students by at least a half hour, an effort to give kids more classroom instructional time.
The bill, set to be introduced at the council's regularly scheduled meeting, would extend the school day from the current 6.5 hours to at least seven hours, Cheh said Monday. Currently, the school day at many District schools begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 3:15 p.m.
Cheh's proposal, which will likely undergo extensive review before the council acts on it, is designed to help the District meet President Obama's call for longer school days to enhance the quality of education.
Cheh said the change would also place District public schools in line with the instructional time already offered by some local charter schools.
But District school children shouldn't start fretting about more time in the classroom just yet.
Cheh acknowledges that the longer stay day would come at considerable cost to taxpayers. And with the city forecasted to face lean local budgets for the foreseeable future, Cheh said, it could be some time before her legislation is enacted.
"This will be the start of the conversation," Cheh said.