ALABAMA (WHNT) — A new education bill introduced earlier this month could not only extend the academic year for public schools in Alabama but provide additional funding for those that participate.
House Bill 333 (HB 333) would establish the Alabama Modified School Calendar Grant Program, which would distribute more funds for school districts that choose to extend their calendar year by a minimum of 30 extra instructional days.
Sponsored by Representatives Terri Collins, R-Decatur, and Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, the goal would be to help students avoid “summertime learning loss,” along with more opportunities in schools and helping working families struggling with child care during the summer months.
There have already been several school districts across the country that have adopted the “year-round school calendars,” including Missouri, Texas and Virginia.
Last year, schools in Mobile County moved to a modified period schedule after seeing the change begin to trend across America, though, under current law, do not receive any additional funding.
Funds for the grant would come from the state’s Education Trust Fund.
“One of the schools I met with in Mobile who has been doing this for several years,” Collins explained to the Alabama Daily News. “Their teachers love it, their students love it, their achievement has improved…and they get a week off every month just about and still six weeks in the summer.”
In order to receive the funds, schools will have to apply for the grant, which will require them to agree to add at least 30 instructional days and provide a “detailed budget” and evidence of community support and engagement.
Schools will also need to include a detailed calendar, including plans for any intersession activities and any “relevant short and long-term goals of the local board of education which a modified calendar may help achieve,” the bill states.
If passed, the bill would be put into effect by the beginning of the 2024-25 school year.