ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Public School Board shot down a push to extend the time students spend in the classroom. “I like the tops model, I think teachers are appreciating the time they get,” said Barbara Petersen, APS board member. “But I think it takes time to build support for it, and if we don’t build the support for it, it’s not going to be as successful as it needs to be.”
Tonight’s proposal would have extended the school year by 10 days district-wide. It would have lengthened the school day at all elementary schools by an hour-and-a-half each day.
More than two dozen teachers, parents, and students signed up for public comment with most being against the extensions. Many expressed concerns about the extra hours eating into extracurricular activities and family time.
Some teachers argued they are already on the brink of burnout and warned the district will lose teachers if they are forced to work more hours. “Our wonderful teachers will now be working more hours than they ever have,” said one public commenter. “Not all students in all schools are missing the mark. Focus on who needs this and allow them to get it. There is no evidence that two weeks of unspecified instruction will serve as a panacea to our problems.”
The proposal did have some support, including from teachers at elementary schools that are already doing longer school days. They said it makes students more engaged and gives teachers more time to develop lessons.
The proposal failed on a four-to-three vote. Individual schools can still opt into the district’s extended learning plan.