Las Cruces Legislator Wants To Expand School Year

Las Cruces – Rep. Joseph Cervantes (D-Dona Ana) would fundamentally alter the school year in New Mexico to reflect a modern educational system and produce students competitive in the global economy.

House Bill 407 would increase the number of required instructional days per year from 180 days to 200 days beginning in 2012-2013. It would also modify the annual school year calendar to reduce the extended summer break and promote continuity in education throughout the year.

Rep. Cervantes said, "Parents and educators all see the loss of knowledge and student progress with the extended summer holiday-which is a throwback to an era when students were needed on the family farm. We need to make our students competitive in this global economy and to achieve that, we need to increase our students' time in the classroom learning."

According to Education in Review, the following are the number of days students in other countries attend school:
Japan 243;
South Korea 220;
Israel 216;
The Netherlands 200;
Thailand 200;
England 192;
United States 180.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2009 New Mexico students scored below the national average in Mathematics, Science, Reading, and Writing.