Under a bill approved Monday by the state Senate Education Committee, up to 25 New Jersey school districts would receive a state grant for a three-year pilot program to expand learning time. Senate Bill 2087 and its companion, Assembly Bill 1391, would create a three-year pilot program to allow a limited set of school districts to innovate by expanding their school schedules. The bills would also create a corporate tax credit program that would help finance the additional expenses that the participating districts would face, including compensation for teachers and staff. The passage of this bill has the potential to open the door to meaningful expanded learning time reforms across New Jersey.
Many of our struggling schools in New Jersey are in true need of reform. The achievement gap between our high- and low-income students is among the highest in the nation. The century-old system of a short school day with a long summer vacation is outdated and doesn’t meet the needs of today’s diverse student population.
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