Today is a key milestone in the education reform movement - Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have committed to expanding the learning day for students across New York. For several years, Citizen Schools has provided Expanded Learning Time (ELT) programming as an innovative solution to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for low income students. We are thrilled that Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have come out at the forefront of this integral policy issue. Late last night, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature reached a budget agreement that allocates $20 million in competitive grant funding for implementing Expanded Learning Time. We know that extending the learning day is a critical way for kids in low income communities to reach a level playing field with their more affluent counterparts. On average, kids who are in productive academic environments for nine or more hours per day are more successful in the 21st century than those who leave at 2:30pm.
This past January, Governor Cuomo said in his State of the State address that ELT is an initiative he is passionate about supporting, and we are excited to see that passion put into action in the context of the Legislature's galvanizing support for students. We commend our state officials and applaud this initiative that will ensure that our education system will remain one of the best in the country. Citizen Schools knows that thoughtfully planned ELT programs have the capacity to transform the life trajectories of low income students, and we are particularly enthusiastic to see ELT continuing to gain momentum in New York City and across the state.
Please join us in thanking Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for their dedication to our students, our communities, and our schools!