Cuomo's budget proposal provides money to support extended school days

Governor Cuomo's proposed budget provides $20 million to support extended school days or extended school year programs, with academically enriched programming.

Schools that apply to participate in the program must agree to expand learning by 25 percent. The grant will cover the full cost of expanding learning time for students.

The West Genesee School District is already planning to add full day kindergarten next year.

Superintendent Chris Brown says research shows it has big benefits.

"There are a lot of things that students have to accomplish before they go to first grade," Brown says. "Even though kindergarten is not mandatory, looking at the curriculum, English and math specifically, on a half day schedule there just isn't a way to get that actively. So a full day schedule will allow us to help students get more social skills as well before they go onto first grade."

Brown says while a longer day may help a few students, he's not sure it would be the best approach for every student.

The governor also proposed several education performance grants including $25 million for full day Pre-K programs for the state's highest need students.