Granholm endorses longer school year


Governor Granholm marked the first day of school in Michigan by visiting an elementary school in Lansing. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, she used the occasion to call for an extended school year.

The governor visited classes, and bragged about Michigan's progress in improving student test scores. But she says Michigan is competing with other states and countries where kids attend classes for more than 200 days a year. Michigan's goal is 180 days of classes, but many districts don't make that.

The governor says more class time--even year-round school--is needed for students to meet the state's stringent new academic requirements.

"The bottom line is other countries and other states are requiring more of their students and we've got to do the same," she explains.

Lansing schools superintendent T.C. Wallace was with the governor. He likes the idea, but says the state would have to pay for more class time.

"Clearly, it works," he says. "I'd love to do it here, but funding has to come with it."

The governor says she'd like the Legislature to adopt an extended school year before it wraps up its work in December.