WASHINGTON, DC – We applaud Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ), who today introduced H.R. 3642, the Expanded Learning Time Demonstration Act. This act seeks to provide students in low-performing, high-poverty schools with more learning time to focus on both academics and enrichment. By providing federal incentives to districts and states for the planning and implementation of expanded learning initiatives, this Act strengthens learning opportunities and environments to enhance student academic performance. The Expanded Learning Time Demonstration Act is an important step toward closing the academic achievement gaps that plague our nation’s minority and low-income schools.
For the last several years, the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund have documented and promoted effective expanded learning time programs and their impact on student achievement. Students in underperforming, high-poverty schools merit the strongest educational opportunities and enrichment experiences possible, and expanded learning time can make this a reality. We commend Rep. Payne for his attention and commitment to the needs of our most vulnerable students and for his support in the promotion of federal policy to increase learning time and modernize public schools.