Time to replace study hall with core classes?

Time to replace study hall with core classes?

(Mass.) It is a question that educators and budget analysts have asked time and time again—whether schools should do away with study periods.

Now a district in Massachusetts is poised to find out with an expected boost in state support of $3.4 million, some of which would be used to replace study hall with core course work.

“Study halls are really a waste of students’ time,” Maureen Binienda, Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools told the Telegram & Gazette. “I know some of the (Advanced Placement) kids do appreciate it, but the majority of students don’t like it.”

Late last month, the state Senate approved a $41.5 billion budget plan for next year, adding about $75 million in spending above that agreed to by the House.

The two sides along with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker are deep in negotiations facing a July 1 deadline for approval.

The Senate version included $3.4 million for Worcester schools and district administrators have already said how they would use that money. About $1 million of it would be spent to hire 14 teachers at the high school level to bolster elective courses. In making that change, district officials said, study hall for some 1,750 students across all seven high schools would be eliminated.

Binienda said she believes that is a better use of the money.

“I think students deserve to have a choice of electives,” she told the paper. “We want kids to be excited about academics.”

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