Why Are School Hours so Long?

The minimum length of the kindergarten to 12th grade school day is typically established by state law. The general goal is to have a day that is long enough to allow teachers to provide children with ample education in each key subject area.

Whether the school day is too long in a given community is subjective; the issue is often debated. A November 2011 CBS article discussed the controversy over Chicago’s plan to move from a 5 1/2 hour school day to a 7 1/2 hour school day. Some schools have even longer days of 8 to 9 hours. Concerns regarding an especially long school day center on to the ability of kids to maintain focus on learning and the desire of parents to place their kids in outside activities.