Five States Expand School Hours

Mehdi Taamallah / AFP / Getty Images

Children go back to school after having a week off due to Hurricane Sandy at P.S. 6, the Lillie Devereaux Blake School on November 5, 2012 in New York, New York. Nearly all New York schools were set to reopen Monday in another sign of things getting back to normal in the wake of superstorm Sandy, but authorities faced a new challenge posed by frigid weather. Tens of thousands of people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the storm had to cope with plunging temperatures, which raised the specter of people freezing to death. New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg estimated that 30,000-40,000 homes in the city alone had been left unusable by the October 29 storm as the cold intensifies. AFP PHOTO/ Mehdi Taamallah (Photo credit should read MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images)

That sound you hear is the collective groan of 20,000 public students who will spend more time in school in 2013. Schools in five states—Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee—are taking part in a three-year pilot program designed to make public schools more competitive internationally. Forty schools will either make the school day longer or add days to the end of the year to give students access to an expanded curriculum. Federal, state, and district funds will cover the cost of the increased hours along with funding from the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning.