Length of typical Iowa school day could grow by a half-hour

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The Iowa House passed a bill that would make the typical school day a half-hour longer.

HF352 passed the Iowa House on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.  The bill would change the school calendar so students are required to attend 1,080 classroom hours instead of the currently-required 180 days.

The measure would increase the typical school day in Iowa from 5.5 hours to six hours.  Many districts already use the six-hour requirement as their standard day.  The bill allows passing time between classes, as well as time spent in parent-teacher conferences, to be included in instructional hours.

Iowa is currently one of 18 states that still uses days, instead of hours, to calculate minimum instructional time requirements.

The bill moves on to the Iowa Senate, which is expected to vote on the  measure before the end of March 2013.  If passed, the legislation would go into effect July 1, 2014.