Plan for longer school days handed setback

The Associated Press
Friday April 27, 2001

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gray Davis’ plan to keep middle-school students in class longer each year suffered a setback Thursday in the Senate Education Committee. 

Although Davis modified his plan by providing more money for poorer schools, the committee did not vote on the bill containing his plan when it passed 31 other bills Thursday. The bills now go to the Appropriations Committee. 

All bills that spend money must be approved by policy committees by Friday. 

Davis had first proposed spending $100 million in the 2001-2002 budget for middle schools that add 30 days to their school year. He hoped to expand the increase to all middle schools in three years, at an eventual annual cost of $1 billion. 

On Wednesday, Davis changed his plan, lengthening the year by only 20 days and using the savings for grants for the state’s lowest-performing schools. 

Opponents said his original plan would give money to schools that didn’t need it, including those in affluent areas with high test scores. Lawmakers are trying to focus money and new programs this year on schools with scores in the bottom 20 percent on the statewide test. 

Davis’ plan passed the committee muster Wednesday but the committee didn’t take a final vote on it Thursday. 

A Davis spokeswoman said Thursday that the governor hopes the committee will consider the bill again on May 9. 


On the Net: 

Read the bill, SB1020 by Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Commerce, at 


Read Davis’ education proposals at http://www.ose.ca.gov