Marana looking to extend school year

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MARANA, Ariz. -- Administrators with the Marana Unified School District want to extend the school year by 20 days.

Monday night parents got a chance to learn more from the superintendent.

The superintendent says he wants to get at least 70% support for the 200 day school year before submitting the proposal to the governing board.  But the idea, so far, is a tough sell.

That's because the Marana community would have to help pay for those extra days.

Marana students might be hitting the books harder in the 2012 school year or at least longer.

Superintendent Doug Wilson says extending the year by 20 days will improve student achievement.

"Our teachers have standards that have to be taught, students are tested on those standards and we have 180 days to do it.  Many of those things are re-taught at the beginning of the year because we have some brain drain during the Summer," said Wilson.

Some parents attending tonight's informational meeting are on the fence.

"I concerns about children not having a long enough break in the summer to do things like swim team," said parent Judith Jones.

"It would probably benefit some students but i think my son gets enough extra at home," said parent Suzann Edwards.

Aside from academics and family time, parents are concerned about how the Marana School District will fund the extra class time.

With a longer school year, the district will receive more state funding, but if that's not enough, there are other options.

"We have an override that needs to be re-authorized this November if that's something that resonates with our community with our staff and our parents in the community then that's how we would pay for it," said Marana Superintendent Doug Wilson, Ed. D.

"I mean we are economically strapped right now the whole state is going bankrupt this is really excessive you know this would have to be the most amazing plan," said parent Stacie Herschler.

The district is tasked now with convincing parents that added instruction is worth the price tag.