Skip To Content
News Update

Classroom Instruction Time Varies by State

photo of classroom of pre-k students raising their hands

Due to differences in state laws and local rules governing school districts, children in some states receive as much as 196 hours, or five and a half weeks, more instruction time annually than children in other states.

Research recently published in the American Education Research Journal finds differences in the length of a school day or year translate to huge gaps in learning opportunities. Other key findings include:

  • Children living in jurisdictions requiring the most time in school benefit from over two years more education over their K-12 careers than those living in areas that require the least.
  • When accounting for student absences, suspensions, and classroom interruptions, time intended for instruction is lost.
  • One-quarter of students nationwide missed at least 10 percent of the 2023-2024 school year.
  • States that mandate a minimum number of days in the school year range from 160 required days (Colorado) to 186 days (Kansas). States mandating a minimum number of hours range from 720 hours (Arizona) to 1,260 (Texas).

For more information, check out the article Class Time Roulette: Kids Receive Up to Two Years More School Depending on Where They Live from The 74.

Was this article helpful?
Sarah James
Sarah James
Communications Specialist

Sarah James joined HR Services in 2019. Prior to that, she worked at a Central Texas school district for 11 years. She is responsible for managing web content, HR Services articles, HRX newsletter, social media accounts, and marketing efforts.

James has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Concordia University Texas in Austin.

Email Sarah if you have a story idea for the HRX.

HR Services

TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
HRX Logo

Subscribe to HRX

Stay up to date with all the latest HR news and trends by joining the HRX mailing list!