A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n



``(a) Findings.--The Congress finds that--
``(1) the Commission on Time and Learning has found that--
``(A) realizing the third National Education Goal, that states all students will leave grades four, eight and twelve having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter, including English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography, will require considerably more common core learning time than most students now receive;
``(B) ensuring that all students learn to high standards will require flexibility and innovation in the use of common core learning time, as well as the rest of the time students spend both during and beyond the school day;
``(C) teachers need regular, sustained time for lesson development, collegial collaboration and other professional development;
``(D) schools, businesses, community-based organizations, tribal leaders, and other community agencies and members should work together to foster effective learning and enrichment programs and activities for students, including programs that operate outside of the regular school day or year;
``(E) for most students in the United States, the school year is 180 days long. In Japan students go to school 243 days per year, in Germany students go to school 240 days per year, in Austria students go to school 216 days per year, in Denmark students go to school 200 days per year, and in Switzerland students go to school 195 days per year; and
``(F) in the final four years of schooling, students in schools in the United States are required to spend a total of 1,460 hours on core academic subjects, less than half of the 3,528 hours so required in Germany, the 3,280 hours so required in France, and the 3,170 hours so required in Japan;
``(2) increasing the amount and duration of intensive, engaging and challenging learning activities geared to high standards can increase student motivation and achievement;
``(3) the benefits of extending learning time, including common core instructional time, can be maximized by concurrent changes in curriculum and instruction, such as accelerated learning, and engaging, interactive instruction based on challenging content;
``(4) maximizing the benefit of increased common core and other learning time will require the collaboration and cooperation of teachers and administrators, students, parents, community members and organizations, businesses and others to develop strategies to meet the needs of students during and beyond the school day and year;
``(5) a competitive world economy requires that students in the United States receive education and training that is at least as rigorous and high-quality as the education and training received by students in competitor countries;
``(6) despite our Nation's transformation from a farm-based economy to one based on manufacturing and services, the school year is still based on the summer needs of an agrarian economy;
``(7) American students' lack of formal schooling is not counterbalanced with more homework. The opposite is true, as half of all European students report spending at least two hours on homework per day, compared to only 29 percent of American students. Twenty-two percent of American students watch five or more hours of television per day, while less than eight percent of European students watch that much television;
``(8) more than half of teachers surveyed in the United States cite `children who are left on their own after school' as a major problem;
``(9) over the summer months, disadvantaged students not only fail to advance academically, but many forget much of what such students had learned during the previous school year;
``(10) funding constraints as well as the strong pull of tradition have made extending the school year difficult for most States and school districts; and
``(11) experiments with extended and multi-track school years have been associated with both increased learning and more efficient use of school facilities.
``(b) Purposes.--It is the purpose of this part to--
``(1) provide seed money to schools and local educational agencies to enable such agencies to devise and implement strategies and methods for upgrading the quality of, and extending, challenging, engaging learning time geared to high standards for all students; and
``(2) allow the Secretary to provide financial incentives and assistance to States or local educational agencies to enable such States or agencies to substantially increase the amount of time that students spend participating in quality academic programs, and to promote flexibility in school scheduling.
``(c) Program Authorized.--
``(1) In general.--The Secretary is authorized to award grants to local educational agencies having applications approved under subsection (d) to enable such agencies to carry out the authorized activities described in subsection (e) in public elementary and secondary schools.
``(2) Amount.--The Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, provide an equitable distribution of grants under this section.
``(3) Duration.--Each grant under subsection (a) shall be awarded for a period of not more than three years.
``(4) Priority.--The Secretary shall give priority to awarding grants under this part to local educational agencies that serve schools with high percentages of students in poverty.
``(d) Application.--Each local educational agency desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require. Each such application shall describe--
``(1) the activities for which assistance is sought;
``(2) any study or other information-gathering project for which funds will be used;
``(3) strategies and methods the applicant will use to enrich and extend learning time for all students and to maximize the percentage of common core learning time in the school day, such as block scheduling, team teaching, longer school days or years, and extending learning time through new distance-learning technologies;
``(4) the strategies and methods the applicant will use, including changes in curriculum and instruction, to challenge and engage students and to maximize the productiveness of common core learning time, as well as the total time students spend in school and in school-related enrichment activities;
``(5) the strategies and methods the applicant intends to employ to provide continuing financial support for the implementation of any extended school day or school year;
``(6) with respect to any application seeking assistance for activities described under subsection (e)(4), a description of any feasibility or other studies demonstrating the sustainability of a longer school year;
``(7) the extent of involvement of teachers and other school personnel in investigating, designing, implementing and sustaining the activities assisted under this part;
``(8) the process to be used for involving parents and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of the activities assisted under this part;
``(9) any cooperation or collaboration among public housing authorities, libraries, businesses, museums, community-based organizations, and other community groups and organizations to extend engaging, high-quality, standards-based learning time outside of the school day or year, at the school or at some other site;
``(10) the training and professional development activities that will be offered to teachers and others involved in the activities assisted under this part;
``(11) the goals and objectives of the activities assisted under this part, including a description of how such activities will assist all students to reach State standards;
``(12) the methods by which the applicant will assess progress in meeting such goals and objectives; and
``(13) how the applicant will use funds provided under this part in coordination with other funds provided under this Act or other Federal laws.
``(e) Authorized Activities.--Funds under this section may be used--
``(1) to study the feasibility of, and effective methods for, extending learning time within or beyond the school day or year, including consultation with other schools or local educational agencies that have designed or implemented extended learning time programs;
``(2) to conduct outreach to and consult with community members, including parents, students, and other stakeholders, such as tribal leaders, to develop a plan to extend learning time within or beyond the school day or year;
``(3) to develop and implement an outreach strategy that will encourage collaboration with public housing authorities, libraries, businesses, museums, community-based organizations, and other community groups and organizations to coordinate challenging, high-quality educational activities outside of the school day or year;
``(4) to support public school improvement efforts that include expansion of time devoted to core academic subjects and the extension of the school year to 210 days;
``(5) to research, develop and implement strategies, including changes in curriculum and instruction, for maximizing the quality and percentage of common core learning time in the school day and extending learning time during or beyond the school day or year;
``(6) to provide professional development for school staff in innovative teaching methods that challenge and engage students, and also increase the productivity of extended learning time; and
``(7) to develop strategies to include parents, business representatives, and other community members in the extended time activities, especially as facilitators of activities that enable teachers to have more time for planning, individual student assistance, and professional development activities.
``(f) Definitions.--For the purpose of this section the term `common core learning time' means high-quality, engaging instruction in challenging content in each of the following core academic subjects described in the third National Education Goal:
``(1) English.
``(2) Mathematics.
``(3) Science.
``(4) Foreign languages.
``(5) Civics and government.
``(6) Economics.
``(7) Arts.
``(8) History.
``(9) Geography.
``(g) Administration.--
``(1) Peer review.--The Secretary shall award grants under this section pursuant to a peer review process.
``(2) Diversity.--In awarding grants under this section the Secretary shall ensure that such grants are awarded to a diversity of local educational agencies, including such agencies that serve rural and urban areas.
``(h) Appropriations Authorization.--
``(1) In general.--For the purpose of carrying out this section there are authorized to be appropriated $90,000,000 for fiscal year 1995 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the four succeeding fiscal years.
``(2) Limitation.--Not less than 80 percent of any amount appropriated under paragraph (1) shall be made available to applicants seeking to extend their school year to not fewer than 210 days.