PRESS RELEASE: Joint Committee on Education to Consider Bill on Expanded Learning Time

BOSTON, MASS – September 16, 2015 – The Joint Committee on Education is considering two bills (H. 396 and S. 252) that would expand the learning day at public schools across the Commonwealth. Citizen Schools, a national education nonprofit that partners with public schools in high-need communities to expand the learning day for over 1700 students in Chelsea and Boston – plus 5,000 more in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas – has demonstrated that expanded learning time (ELT) programs give public schools the opportunity to re-imagine the school day and provide students with the time, enrichment, and instruction they need to meet today’s high academic standards. WHAT: On Wednesday September 16, 2015, the Executive Director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts will testify before the joint committee to highlight the benefits of ELT and call for an ELT allotment in the Chapter 70 foundation funding formula.

WHERE: State House Room B-1

WHEN: Wednesday September 16, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

WHO: Pat Kirby, Chief Growth Officer and Massachusetts Executive Director, Citizen Schools

WHY: Children spend only 20 percent of their waking time in classrooms, yet schools are expected to shoulder almost all of the responsibility for educating them. Creating a sustainable funding stream will allow schools and districts to create whole school redesign. As a result, districts can enrich the school curriculum by lending greater time to music and the arts, physical education, and other opportunities for well-rounded learning, such as internships, mentoring, and service learning; and promote partnerships between schools and after-school programs to encourage broader learning opportunities that connect directly to school-day learning.

According to a national third party evaluation study led by Abt Associates, schools with ELT increase student learning by an average of two and three months respectively in ELA and Math.

About Citizen Schools Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit