UPDATED (June 26)
New York has selected nine school districts to receive a slice of $24 million in funding under the state’s Extended Learning Time initiative, a new state program that was championed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The program provides money for districts to extend the day or year by at least 25 percent, or 300 more hours per year, in hopes of helping to improve academic achievement.
The awards range in size from $542,000 to the 1,900-student Lackawanna City school district to $7.6 million for the New York City school system, which serves about a million children. (See chart below with all awards.) Three grants will extend time at K-8 schools, others increase time at middle schools (grades 6-8), and one serves a middle/high school, according to a New York State Education Department official.
It is not exactly clear when the decisions on the grants were made, but the state sent out official letters to the grantees on June 24 and posted the list of grant winners on its website June 25.
All awardees are adding time to the traditional school day, the state department official said. In addition, the Auburn district will also extend the school year by a week in August and the Utica district will also add time during the summer; and Yonkers will also hold some Saturday classes and add time during winter and spring breaks.
The grant period for these districts will last from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016, the state official said.
The process of distributing these grants was slower than anticipated, the official confirmed to Education Week. The New York state legislature approved the grant program in March 2013 and the state education department requested proposals be submitted by October 2013. As Education Week previously reported, funding was initially supposed to be available as early as January 2014 for programs starting both in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
“The original plan included money available to districts in January 2014, but the overall procurement and approval process took longer than expected,” the official said.
For an overview of current efforts to extend learning time in New York, check out this recent report from the Center for American Progress.
We are still trying to gather additional information about the grant awards, so stay tuned for more details. Here is a chart supplied by the state education department, also available on its website:
A version of this news article first appeared in the Time and Learning blog.