In this week’s ELT Soup:

Last weekend, the New York Times Sunday Dialogue tackled the question of whether students need more time in school. Readers were invited to respond to this letter, and a lively debate ensued. We posted more responses on our blog earlier this week, and we invite you to respond as well!

Students at Ypsilanti Community Schools in Michigan will have more learning time next year. The newly unified district is adding 30 minutes and 14 days to their calendar while also considering a balanced calendar, which would shorten the summer break and intersperse vacation days throughout the school year.

Cambridge Public School students will have an additional hour of learning time beginning in 2014, according to a tentative contract agreement reached by the School Committee and teachers union. The Massachusetts district is already home to two ELT schools.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 12-10 to pass Strengthening America’s Schools Act, which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill includes language that will enable states and districts to continue using expanded learning time as a whole-school reform strategy. Learn more here.