Schools Should Not Have Longer Hours

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AP US History teacher Michael Keel shows students pictures of Mansfield's beginnings while on a field trip to city hall on Oct. 29.

Conner Riley

AP US History teacher Michael Keel shows students pictures of Mansfield's beginnings while on a field trip to city hall on Oct. 29.

Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris proposed a bill to increase the length of the school day from at least 8 a.m. to 6 p.m on Nov. 7, 2019. She claims the bill would help decrease conflicts parents have with work and school schedules. I believe this is a step in the right direction but will not solve all the problems it claims to.

The bill would require schools to operate as normal on staff development days. To compensate for these extra operating-hours, the government would grant money to schools in “low-income” areas to provide “enrichment programs” on these days.

This sounds great in theory, but teachers would have to work more hours. Teachers already spend hours outside the determined workday to grade papers, communicate with students via email and plan out their lessons, so little time is left for their personal life. Harris claims teachers would be “compensated fairly,” but this compensation would not be worth their time.

Extra hours teachers work adds stress and distances them from their personal lives. Like teenagers now, levels of depression and anxiety could increase in teachers.”

— Zach Planche

According to Payscale research, on average, high school teachers earn roughly $21.88 hourly. Though this sounds fine, it does not account for the average 11 hours of overtime teachers spend working every week.

Extra hours teachers work adds stress and distances them from their personal lives. Like teenagers now, levels of depression and anxiety could increase in teachers. This would create an unideal environment for students to learn in. Overall, teachers would become less influential and the education system would be in need of reform to better suit students.

As a student with outside-of-school responsibilities, time is already limited for any leisure activities. I feel a better solution is to start school later so it would more closely mirror a 9 to 5 job.

On the upside of this bill, working parents are granted more opportunities to spend time with their children and save money on after-school services such as babysitting or day-care programs. The differing schedules makes valuable time with children a rare occurrence and creates unhealthy relationships in families.

Overall, the bill needs some adjustments before it benefits, not only working parents, but the teachers who serve their children. Harris is going in the right direction, though.