Sen. Kamala Harris unveils bill that would test keeping schools open until 6 p.m. for low-income schools

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Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019

(WRDW/WAGT) -- California Sen. Kamala Harris has unveiled a bill looking at helping address the yawning chasm between adults' work schedules and kids' school schedules.

The bill, called the Family Friendly Schools Act, looks at how most schools in America end at 3 p.m. while most work schedules end at 5 p.m.

The act will begin with a pilot program across the country looking at keeping schools open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

That pilot will focus elementary schools serving a high number of low-income families and tasks those schools to collaborate with community partners to develop learning opportunities during those hours.

On top of that, the bill seeks to keep activities going for students who have the day off during parent-teacher conferences or professional development days.

Harris's bill also seeks an additional $1.3 billion in funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers to allow up to 1.8 million more children to access summer programming.

“My mother raised my sister and me while working demanding, long hours,” Harris said in a statement. “So, I know firsthand that, for many working parents, juggling between school schedules and work schedules is a common cause of stress and financial hardship. But, this does not have to be the case. My bill provides an innovative solution that will help reduce the burden of child care on working families. It is time we modernize the school schedule to better meet the needs of our students and their families.”

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