President Obama's call for longer school days raises questions

If school makes kids smart, more school would make them smarter, right? Maybe, say local educators, parents and kids. But President Obama's call for children to spend more time in school -- either by staying later in the day or into the summer -- is unlikely to prompt changes to Wichita's school calendar anytime soon.

"It's never been seriously pursued because it has costs associated with it -- huge costs," said interim superintendent Martin Libhart.

The district estimates that every week added to the school year would cost about $10 million, Libhart said.

"Without question, the state would have to take the lead, because obviously it becomes a huge funding issue," he said.

But with Kansas in line to receive an estimated $575 million in education money from the federal stimulus package, some officials say it's time to at least consider more classroom time as a strategy to boost student achievement.

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