With nation-wide standards for college entrance exams and standards for education, it is astounding that there is no standard for the instructional time spent with students or the required amount of school days. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) compiled a list of each state’s school day requirements and instructional times for the schools in each state. Some states do not have a required time limit because it is up to the discretion of the local districts as a whole. In general, instructional time does not include parent teacher conferences, recess, passing periods, and strike time.
Below you will find the requirements for days required for attendance and instructional time for each state. Nearly all states have accommodations in place for unseen emergencies, such as snow days or heat problems. If we hope to have a united nation of students adhering to the high standards of the government, we should hope to remedy the amount of direct instructional time with students.
Six states have saved money by decreasing the instructional week to four days and extending one day a week by 60-90 minutes. While the time may sound beneficial, there has been no evidence to prove its validity on student achievement.
States requiring more than 180 days:
Kansas (186 days, but only 181 for seniors), Ohio (182 days)
States requiring 180 days:
Alabama, Arizona, California (until 2014-2015 school year), Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
States requiring less than 180 days:
Alaska (170), Arkansas (178), Colorado (160), District of Columbia (178), Illinois (176), Kentucky (175), Louisiana (177), Maine (175), Michigan (170), Missouri (174/142), North Dakota (175), and Vermont (175)
States that do not have a requirement:
Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virgin Islands
States requiring six hours of instruction a day:
Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina
States requiring less than 6 hours of daily instruction:
Alaska (5), Arizona (4), California (4), Delaware (3.5), Georgia (5.5), Illinois (5), Iowa (5.5), Kansas (5), Maine (3), Maryland (3), Mississippi (5), Missouri (3), Nevada (5.5), New Jersey (4), New York (5.5), Ohio (5.5), Pennsylvania (5.5), Rhode Island (5.5), Utah (4), Vermont (5.5), Virginia (5.5), and West Virginia (5.75)
States that have more than six hours of instructional time daily:
Tennessee and Texas
States that do not have a requirement for daily instructional hours:
Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.