Obama: U.S. students should have longer school year in order to compete

President Obama on Monday endorsed the prospect of a longer school year for U.S. students.

The president said extended time in the classroom was an idea worth considering, especially since students in other countries, on average, spend about a month longer in the classroom per year.

“I think we should have longer school years,” Obama said on NBC’s “Today” show during a special forum on education. “We now have our kids go to school about a month less than other advanced countries. And that month makes a difference.”

American students spend an average of 180 days per year in the classroom, a number dwarfed by other major global competitors.

The president said that a longer school year was among a series of reforms the U.S. should undertake to improve the state of education in the U.S., reforms he said could mean more of a taxpayer commitment to schools.

“That’s going to cost some money,” Obama said of the idea of the longer school year. “But I think that would be money well spent.”

More broadly, Obama said that money helps, but it doesn’t solve all problems.

“Those who say money makes no difference are wrong,” Obama said. “But money without reform will not fix the problems.


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