Should schools stay open longer?

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has introduced a bill to keep schools open three hours longer on weekdays to fit better with parents' work schedules. But do people agree with the legislation?

Posted: Nov 7, 2019 11:14 PM

KASSON, Minn. -

To reduce the burden of childcare, is keeping school open 3 hours longer the answer?

Kasson Mantorville superintendent Mark Matuska says the idea is worthy of examination.

"Kids do need some of these places to be but is this the right thing?" Matuska asked. "I think a lot of people will question whether this is the right direction for kids and whether or not we want them in school for an additional 3 hours a day."

Matuska knows affordable childcare is hard to find. That's why Kasson Mantorville helps parents connect with childcare providers.

"One of the things we did here at K-M was put together a website so those parents could talk to those providers and make a difference for all of them and it is making a difference," Matuska said.

Shane Baker parents two kids and has reservations about a lengthened day for children.

"Having your kid in sort of an institution for half the day, in school, if that becomes, where essentially school is the de facto parent for most of the waking hours, that gets to be the concern," Baker said.

Still, Baker sees advantages too.

"The juggling that you have to do between budgets and time and being responsible for your kid and wanting good for them, at some level it seems like every little bit can help," Baker said.

He's glad the proposal has sparked discussion.

"This is a nice opening to the conversation that says hey, maybe we can think differently about how to structure kids' time and use community aspects like buildings and staff, and people who have expertise and interest, maybe this is a way to start the conversation," Baker said.

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