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School Board: Add 36 Minutes To High School Day, Cut Homeroom

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File Photo (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

File Photo (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago School Board is advising that school should be in session for 36 more minutes for high school students when the longer school day takes effect systemwide.

The board recommended in new guidelines Thursday that the high school day should be extended by next fall.

The board also suggests gaining an additional 10 minutes of instructional time, for a total of 46 additional minutes, by eliminating homeroom periods and allowing students a four-minute entry period at the beginning of each day, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The Chicago Teachers Union told the newspaper it was not notified of the new guidelines until hearing about them in the news. The union says the guidelines will certainly be a point of contention in upcoming contract negotiations.

Currently, the school day is longer at 13 elementary schools. They were given financial incentives, including a teacher raise, in exchange for extending the day.

Specifically, each school was promised an extra $150,000 in funding from the Chicago Public Schools. Teachers at the schools are receiving $1,250 bonuses and the 2 percent raises.

The union had sought an injunction to block the longer day from taking effect this year. Teachers Union president Karen Lewis argued that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard violated the union’s contract by allowing some schools to break ranks with the union and extend the day on their own.

But the union abandoned its push for a court injunction, after the city agreed not to lengthen the day at any additional schools this year.
But the CPS system plans to lengthen the day for all schools for the 2012-2013 school year.

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