By Jenny Ferm 11/08/2019
The Friendly School Act is aimed to help working-class families that have difficulty finding flexible work hours that align with traditional school hours. Under the act, school days will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with no closure periods aside from holidays, emergencies, and weekends.
“Simply put, aligning school and work schedules is an economic growth and child development strategy,” said Harris in the proposal for the act.
This is a pilot program, so it will only be offered to 500 volunteer schools.
With this extra time, Harris proposes that schools add more extracurricular programs to compensate for the added hours. To do this, schools will be offered a grant of up to $5 million.
The act will focus on schools with a large population of low-income families since they often have the hardest time finding jobs with flexible job hours.
According to Harris, most school days end earlier than 70% of the average workday for parents.
“This misalignment creates a significant strain on working parents and guardians, particularly mothers. While the mismatch affects all working families, it has a disproportionate impact on Black, Latino, and low-income parents, who are more likely to have unpredictable or inflexible work schedules.” wrote Harris in the proposal.