LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: The Little Rock School District has voted to extend the school day for the 2023-24 school year starting in autumn.
The board said its members' 9-0 decision will mean that elementary students will begin the day earlier and end later, while middle and high school students' days will end later.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the board agreed with Superintendent Jermall Wright, who stressed that the newly approved plan will provide more time for instruction of science and social studies in the elementary grades, as well as enough time for buses to pick up and drop off elementary students before making second runs for older students.
The plan is the result of a compromise negotiated by Wright's administrative team and the district's Personnel Policies Committee working with the the state-licensed teaching staff.
Teresa Knapp Gordon, member of the Personnel Policies Committee, told the board's members before the vote, "We are not happy with everything in here, and I do not think Dr. Wright is happy with everything in here, but we did come to an agreement, and we hope you support it."
Although teachers are not receiving additional pay tied to the longer student day, they are now scheduled for new pay increases next year.