Kamala Harris proposes keeping schools open until 6pm

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) introduced legislation Thursday that she says would align school hours with work hours to support working families.

The Family Friendly Schools Act proposes adjusting the school day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The bill proposes no closures except federal holidays, weekends or emergencies, and says it would not increase the amount of time teachers and staff work. It's co-sponsored by several other Democratic Senators including Ohio's Sherrod Brown.

Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado are co-sponsoring the bill.

“My mother raised my sister and me while working demanding, long hours,” said Senator Harris in a press release. “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.”

The bill says after care programs and summer daycare programs cost the United States economy $55 billion.

According to the legislation, it would "provide grants to local educational agencies to establish ‘‘Family Friendly School’’ policies at 500 elementary schools that align the school day with the work day to better support working families and to disseminate the learnings from these model schools so that other local educational agency’s may adopt these practices, and to establish a supplemental 21st century community learning centers grant program to support programs and activities during summer recess when school is not in session. "

The bill says after care programs and summer daycare programs cost the United States economy $55 billion.

You can read more on the legislation here.

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