Nov 7, 2019

Kamala Harris introduces bill to keep schools open later each day

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a Nov. 1 event in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would encourage schools to keep schools open three hours longer on weekdays to fit better with parents' work schedules.

"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."
— Harris' statement on the Family Friendly Schools bill

Details: Harris said in a statement the proposed Family Friendly Schools Act would award five-year grants of up to $5 million for schools to "develop high-quality, culturally relevant, linguistically accessible, developmentally appropriate academic, athletic, or enrichment opportunities for students."

  • The "first-of-its-kind pilot program" is designed to help low-income and working families who can’t afford to pay for child care.
  • It would give schools resources to stay open during the school year for the entire work day and invest more than $1 billion in "enriching summer learning programs," but it would not force teachers to work longer hours or for less pay, Harris said.
  • The bill "does not mandate how schools implement the program so long as they stay open until 6pm," Harris' spokeswoman Meaghan Lynch told Fox News. "Schools have the flexibility to determine what works best for their community, and the students and their families," Lynch said.

The big picture: The average school day begins at approximately 8:10am and lasts for about 6.5 hours, per the National Center for Education Statistics. Less than half of U.S. public elementary schools have no formal after-school program available for students, a 2009 Education Department report shows.

Go deeper: Kamala Harris on the issues, in under 500 words

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Harris' bill would keep schools open longer, rather than technically extending the mandatory school day.

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“Students were failed": Trump admin cancels 1,500 student loans

Betsy DeVos Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

The Department of Education will cancel federal loans for about 1,500 defrauded students at two shuttered art institutions, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: This represents a "rare victory" from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has limited relief programs for students who claim they've been deceived by the "career-school chain," writes the Times.

Go deeperArrowNov 9, 2019

Italy becomes first country to require students to learn about climate change

Students hold a climate march in Palermo, Italy, on Sept. 27. Photo: Francesco Militello Mirto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

All public schools in Italy will require students to learn about climate change and sustainable development starting the next academic year, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Italy is the first country in the world to mandate curriculum on climate change. Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and students in the U.S. — through the Zero Hour and Sunrise movements — have organized massive protests on climate change and called for politicians and other adults to take science on the issue seriously.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 7, 2019

Kamala Harris drops out of 2020 presidential race

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Image

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, her campaign confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

"I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life. My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue. I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."
— Kamala Harris wrote in an email to supporters
Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019