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Parents: Longer School Day Is Bad For Kids

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Parents who oppose a longer school day at a Near North Side elementary school say a new survey shows what they’ve been saying all along.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports, Skinner North, at 640 W. Scott St. in the old Cabrini-Green neighborhood, is a so-called pioneer school. It was one of the first to implement the longer school day.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

Parent Dolores Fischinger says according to a survey, the majority prefers a shorter school day.

“And the numbers actually showed that the majority of people did not want 7 1/2 (hours); wanted something less,” Fischinger said.

Fischinger says parents conducted their own survey, and found that 53 percent of parents say the longer day is detrimental to the child’s health and wellness.

Skinner North is one of 51 public schools that have already implemented the longer school day. The entire district will go longer when the news school year starts in September.

Fischinger says the parents will present their survey to the Chicago School Board this week.

Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard engaged in a public fight with the Chicago Teachers Union over the longer school day.

The union was infuriated when Emanuel and Brizard urged schools to break ranks with the union and go ahead with the longer school day on their own. The schools that complied received an extra $150,000 in funding from CPS, and teachers at the schools received $1,250 bonuses and 2 percent raises.

The union then sought an injunction to block the longer day from taking effect this year. Teachers Union president Karen Lewis argued that Emanuel and Brizard violated the union’s contract by allowing some schools to break ranks.

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