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Governor Nixon wants to extend school year - KOAM TV 7

Governor Nixon wants to extend school year

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Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, makes plans to extend school years for state schools. Nixon wants to keep more kids in the classroom for longer, as apart of his plan to keep Missouri schools economically competitive with the rest of the nation.

For most kids, summer vacation is a dream that gets them through the spring semester. But Missouri students currently have the fourth shortest school year in the nation. And according to Gov. Nixon, extending the school year from 174 days to 180 days will make a big difference in the education of students across the state.

"When you look at what a high quality teacher can do in the classroom for a kid and they are learning, seven days can make a difference," said Joplin Schools Superintendent, C. J. Huff.

Gov. Nixon says the change will keep Missouri schools competitive by keeping their students inside the classroom as much as their peers in other states.

Something Superintendent Huff agrees with, "if not they why not go 170 instead of 174? I think that time is important, that time that we have with the kids is important, and how we engage the kids is important and the time that we have with the kids is important"

But some parents and students at Joplin Schools are skeptical of sacrificing a week of their precious summer vacation

"They need plenty of time for their summer, it seems like their summers are shorter, and shorter every year, so I think they need to leave it like it is," said Mark Reynolds, a parent of a student at Joplin High School. 

"Well 180 day school year would give us a lot more time to cover more of the curriculum, because as it is, teachers are really rushing through it and I don't know if a lot of parents realize that because kids don't really talk about it very much," said Josh Manning, Senior at Joplin High School. 

"Don't do it! That's nooo, I wouldn't be able to do it, I think now is long enough," Rochelle Ricketts, Junior at Joplin High School.

Changing the school year to 180 days is in par with the national average, and extending Missouri School years is part of a wider plan from the Governor.

Nixon also wants to increase funding for Preschool education programs.

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