Don't tell the kids: This bill would keep them at school even longer

Sen. Kamala Harris' intention is to lessen the need for after-school childcare but will parents agree?

Presidential candidate and senator Kamala Harris, (D-CA), proposed a bill Wednesday that would extend the traditional school day until 6 p.m.

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Harris’ intention is to hopefully avoid the need for after-school childcare for parents who cannot afford it.

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Washington Examiner commentary writer Philip Wegmann told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney the program would begin in select districts as a trial, but “leaves the door open to extending this across the country.”

“What's interesting here is that this is not necessarily an education plan, per se,” Wegmann said. “It has more to do with [the] economics of boosting productivity by keeping parents at work longer hours and allowing their kids to be at school so that someone else is taking care of them.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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Wegmann said he thinks a lot of parents will question the measure as well.

“I think what Harris is doing here is she's trying to confront a reality of the modern workforce where a lot of families can't get by with a single breadwinner," Wegmann said. "But I think that some voters are going to say, 'We want agency here. We want to decide where our kids go after school, not the government.'"

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“The larger question here … is should it be a policy of the U.S. government to separate parents from children so that parents can stay in the workplace longer?”

- Phillip Wegmann, Washington Examiner commentary writer

There’s not yet any evidence that longer school days will increase test scores or enhance the educational progress, Wegmann said.

I think a lot of voters, a lot of parents are going to be scratching their heads over this one," Wegmann said.

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