Bringing you the week’s expanded learning time news:

French President Francois Hollande issued a decree introducing a half day on Wednesdays for children age three to eleven years old. For the last century, France has had a longer school day from 8:30am to 4pm, but with a mid-week break. This new decree would reduce the school day by 45 minutes the rest of the week in order to accommodate for the additional time on Wednesday. The decree has sparked a heated debate about the state of the education system.

The Republic, an Arizona newspaper, wrote an editorial supporting the proposed expanding learning time bill (HB 2488) proposed by Representative Paul Boyer. The article calls the bill as “a refreshing change” because it is based the remarkable results of Balsz Elementary School District that has been expanding learning time for the last three years. The bill would amend the current law so that schools that increase learning time by 20 more days into their school year receive eight percent additional funding over the five percent funding currently available.

NPR ‘s All Things Considered reported on the Pulaski School in Meriden, CT, an expanded-time school in Connecticut that is working to create a cost-effective and sustainable schedule. The segment describes the school’s typical day with from Principal Daniel Coffee and TSC Co-Chair Chris Gabrieli.

A plan is afoot to bring arts education to every Chicago Public Schools student by appointing an arts liaison in every school by March. Students, parents, teachers, principals, and community leaders gathered over three months to give input on a plan to improve arts education in Chicago Schools. The plan outlines steps to achieve equal access to arts education by 2015-2016, a key goal of TSC Signatory Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A current bill out of Indiana would require 30 minutes of physical activity each day for students in grades K-12. State Senator Dennis Kruse who is sponsoring the bill, said he didn’t want to take time away from other subjects, so his bill would also extend the school day by 30 minutes to make room for the extra fitness time.