40 Tennessee schools join pilot program to extend school hours

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Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

School for thousands of public school students is about to get a little longer.

Five states, including Tennessee, are adding at least 300 hours of learning time to the school calendar next year.

The three-year pilot program will affect almost 20,000 students in 40 schools. Those schools will decide whether to make the school day longer, add more days to the school year or both.

A mix of federal and state funds will cover the costs, while the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time and Learning will also chip in.

Education officials say spending more time in the classroom will give students access to a more well-rounded curriculum. It could also help make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.

The four states joining Tennessee are Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

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