Superintendent wishes extra hour of school came with more funding

by: Jamie Smith Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

Teachers, parents and students are preparing to accommodate the extra hour of school being added by the state at some Duval County elementary schools in an attempt to improve reading skills.

There are 300 schools statewide that are required by the state to add an extra hour of instruction each day.

Duval County Public Schools are preparing for $8 and $10 million for overtime instruction and transportation.

"We have seen the additional hour has made a difference. My frustration with the additional hour is that it didn't come with additional funding," said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Duval Schools superintendent.

 The Duval County School Board added 11 schools to that list.

Many parents are worried about how they will be able to pick up their kids if they have other children not on the added instruction list. Another concern is how late after school activities will start and if children will be walking home in the dark.

However, some parents are saying reading levels should be the No. 1 priority.

"If the reading scores are low and kids would benefit from it, I don't have a problem with it at all," said parent Bill McLaughlin.

The school board says extracurricular activities will start after the extra hour and transportation will be provided.