DES MOINES, Iowa--Governor Terry Branstad praised efforts to make sure low-income, at risk, students don't fall farther behind academically over the summer. But he stopped short of calling for expansion of year-round schools in the state.
Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds toured the Starfish Academy at King Elementary School in Des Moines Tuesday. It's part of the Summer in the City program sponsored by the United Way of Central Iowa. The program focuses on students who could use education help, especially in areas like math and reading. Mary Sellers, president of the United Way of Central Iowa, said, "Summer breaks do take a toll on learning loss for a student's education. When they return to school in the fall, they can lose as much as a month of learning from the spring."
King Elementary isn't a year-round school. But some education advocates push the value of year-round schools to minimize that learning loss. The governor said some parents have concerns about those though. He said, "If for instance, you're doing that for grade school and you're not doing that for middle school or high school, then parents may sometimes be concerned that, well, some of my kids are going to be going to school at this time and others...it becomes a scheduling issue."
Year-round school may be an issue where Branstad and his Democratic challenger Jack Hatch agree. Hatch in a statement said, "While my daughter is the product of a year-round system and in her case the results were very positive, I believe the choice should remain with school districts and parents as to whether that option makes sense for an individual district."
Summer in the City also offers programs in West Des Moines and Perry.
For more information about Summer in the City, click here.