CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk today announced new legislation that promotes year-round elementary and secondary school pilot programs in low-income, low-performing school districts across the nation.
“Year-round schools ... outperform other schools with fewer academic days and instructional time," Kirk said. "In order to be competitive internationally, we must focus on creating successful schools with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is time we replicate the all-year school model to improve the education and long-term success of every student."
Kirk's "All-Year School Study Act" would authorize $4 million of taxpayer money to establish a pilot program of year-round public elementary and secondary schools. The bill would also utilize existing taxpayer funds already appropriated to the Fund for the Improvement of Education, which saw an increase in tax funding for the 2014 fiscal year under the recently passed omnibus appropriation spending measure.
The total cost to taxpayers (on top of their property taxes) is unknown. However, increasing the school day will mean more paid hours for teachers, or additional teachers, which could exacerbate the pension crisis in Illinois and other states.