HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A special edition of What's Your Point looks at education in Texas. Greg Groogan talks with Dr. Bob Sanborn of Children at Risk about extending the school year.
Dr. Bob Sanborn of Children at Risk has been calling for education reform that lawmakers are finally poised to push through
“There's this optimism in Austin that people think the new school finance bill has a lot of goodies in there. That as reformers, we've been calling for it for years. We've been asking for a full-day pre-k. We know the positive aspects, especially for children in poverty, 60% of the kids in the school system in Texas. If we could have full day school day, full day prek, it's fantastic.
We see this in there. The other big part of this is idea that we know that time on academic task is very important. The more days that you put into academics, the better. Right now in Texas, we have about 175 days of a school year. But over in china, they're doing 230 days in a school year. In Germany, they're doing 200. Japan is doing 210. We're the only country in the developed world that has so few school days.
One of the things we see, we fall behind in education, this time on task and for -- again, it comes down to the low income kids. When you go to the home, the education doesn't continue. If you have college-educated parents, stuff is still happening. If you don't, more days in school is very important. So this bill that we see in Austin has a potential for up to 210 school days for kids that helps teachers. That is more pay for teachers. Teachers want this. They want more pay by serving our kids. It's good for our kids. You're going to have a hard time telling kids that more days in school is fun. They'll have a smaller summer. As a parent, especially those of us scrambling for summer activities, scrambling for child care, the idea of our kids being in school, getting their free breakfast and free school lunch, learning, it's going to be a boon to our economy that we're not talking about.
This could be a great thing for us. We so that happening. Just in general, this whole idea of more funds for our school. For the first time, we have both sides of the political idea saying hey, we need more funds for our schools. We need better schools. This is economic development in texas. So there's a lot of good things. My hopes are often dashed when it comes to the state legislature. Right now this point in time, we're feeling good about things.