February 18, 2014

Additional State Aid for Increasing the School Day or Year


Last week, NYSSBA distributed the second in a series of legislative priority papers to all state legislators. The report outlined the need for the state to provide financial support to schools for the increase of their school day, school year or restructuring of the school year. To support this effort, we need you to contact your state legislators in echo of this important request. Schools need the financial and statutory ability to provide increased instructional time for our students.


To view the legislative priority paper on the



New York’s students are losing ground academically, relative to their peers around the world. Many countries provide instructional time that well exceeds what students receive in New York State. School districts need the ability to educate students at a level that will allow them to effectively and successfully compete in an increasingly global world.


Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New NY Education Reform Commission acknowledged the importance student learning time in its December 2012 preliminary report. The commission suggested that a “fundamental” restructuring of the school day and school year may be necessary in order to improve student achievement and close the learning gap. The report also highlighted national and international examples of how increased learning time is often a “key ingredient” to student performance. Governor Cuomo reinforced this recommendation by proposing a $20 million “Extended Learning Time” competitive grant as part of the 2013-14 state budget.  However this type of pilot program is not enough, as it does not allow districts to plan for the future and change operations in a permanent way.


The addition of instructional time, whether through a lengthened school day, school year or a restructuring of the academic school year, understandably comes with costs. Teachers will be in the classroom with students for greater amounts of time, school buildings will be open for longer periods of time, and there will be more bus trips taking students to and from school.


Right now, districts are limited to only 180 days of school aid. To seriously consider expanding the school day or year, additional funding must be made available, and districts must be eligible for state aid for a longer school year.


School districts cannot afford these additional expenses on their own. Districts are facing state aid cuts and freezes, the Gap Elimination Adjustment, a property tax cap and ever-increasing, state mandate costs  including pensions,  APPR and Common Core implementation, it is critical that the state provide sufficient, dependable and predictable aid to help support additional instruction time.


Please contact your legislators by calling

(518) 455-4100(518) 455-4100 for your Member of the Assembly and (518) 455-2800(518) 455-2800 for your Senator

Budget negotiations are taking place now. Please call today!

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