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Lawmakers move to keep school years shorter

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State lawmakers have passed measures in both chambers to set the public school year at 990 instructional hours over 180 school days.

Both the House and Senate have advanced bills that would repeal a 2010 law that scheduled an increase in the school year to 1,080 hours by 2016.

Lawmakers who disagreed with that measure said in discussion that mandatory time in class does not necessarily improve student outcomes.

The Department of Education supports the bills, saying they would save the state money. The Hawaii State Teachers Association opposes them, saying instructional hours should be determined by collective bargaining rather than legislation.

Other educators tell lawmakers that longer days would drain resources that could be better devoted to better curriculum and teaching.

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