Orange County, Calif., Superintendent William Habermehl said his schools should add at least 15 days to the academic year to better prepare students for future careers, particularly in the STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, reports a recent article.
While a number of schools in California have cut back on days the past few years as a cost-saving measure, Habermehl said these districts are “going in the wrong direction.”
“We need to find new ways to compete with countries like Japan, Korea, and China, where students are going to school for 200 to 220 days a year,” Habermehl is quoted saying in The Orange County Register.
Habermehl’s proposal would also include adding instruction time to the day, which would require a change to state law, according to the article. If implemented, the proposal estimates the extended school calendar would cost the district $270 million.
According to the superintendent, that money could come from receiving more federal funding for special education, which has cost them $300 million annually.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.