Governor Patrick Calls for More Expanded-Time Schools

Today, Governor Deval Patrick called for an additional $70 million, including $5 million in FY14, investment to strengthen and expand learning time for middle school students in high-need schools across the Commonwealth. This proposal builds on the evidence of over 90 expanded-time schools across the state, including 19 schools in the MA ELT Initiative as well as charter, turnaround, and pilot schools. By continuing to invest in expanding learning time, the state will ensure that students in its highest poverty communities have the time and resources they need for the high-quality, well-rounded education they deserve.

The announcement is part of a larger education investment package Governor Patrick is proposing that totals approximately $550 million in its first year and increases nearly $1 billion annually over the next four years. The Governor's announcement is the first step in the annual budget process that will continue next week when the Patrick administration proposes its FY14 budget proposal. The Legislature will then begin considering its budget recommendations for the next fiscal year, and we look forward to working with leaders in both the House of Representatives and Senate throughout that process. 

This announcement is another example of Governor Patrick's remarkable commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth's students - particularly those students in communities of concentrated poverty - have the time they need for success in college, careers, and beyond. Governor Patrick made today's announcement at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Boston. Orchard Gardens is demonstrating how increased learning time, combined with other key turnaround strategies, can dramatically improve the performance of even the nation's most troubled schools. You can read more about Orchard Gardens here
Today's announcement coincides with the release of a new report from the Massachusetts Teachers Association that recommends expanding the school day to provide academic and enrichment opportunities for students and common planning time for teachers to narrow the achievement gaps in Gateway Cities. The teachers' recommendations stem from a collaborative project of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and New Voice Strategies. 
Today's news reaffirms Massachusetts' role as a national leader on rethinking the outdated American school calendar. We will keep you updated in the coming weeks and months as leaders in Massachusetts consider how to keep the Commonwealth at the forefront of innovation and opportunity for all of its students.