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Texas Legislature Looks to Expanded Learning

Texas schools may have longer school days or a longer school year if state senate leaders take recent recommendations under consideration, according to recent reports.

This week, education leaders in the Texas Senate heard from district leaders and other advocates for expanded learning time about how they could implement ELT in Texas schools.

Speakers included administrators from Houston Independent School District, whose Apollo 20 initiative I wrote about last year. Apollo 20 added both time to the day and days to the year at academically underperforming schools. A number of administrators and teachers were also removed or redistributed to other schools, and tutors were hired to work one-on-one with students. The district saw academic gains for students in the program within the first year of implementation in the 2010-2011 school year.

The National Center on Time & Learning, an ELT advocacy organization based in Boston, was also present at the testimony in Texas. Currently the center is working with the Ford Foundation and other leaders on the "Time to Succeed Coalition," a group of education leaders lobbying for implementing expanded learning in more schools nationally.

NCTL, which stemmed out of the Massachusetts 2020 initiative, a statewide ELT effort, announced that the state has increased funding for expanded learning and two new schools have been added to total 21 schools in the state with expanded learning models.

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