• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

LA Catholic elementary schools to extend year

January 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Catholic schools across Los Angeles are adding more days to the academic year, announced Cardinal Roger Mahony on Thursday.

More than 200 elementary schools throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will be affected. With 20 more days added, most private Catholic elementary schools will have an average of 180 to 200 days by 2012.

"More academics is better. With the school cuts, budget cuts, I think it's best for kids," said parent Mary Rome.

Parents may like the concept of an extended scholastic year, but it comes at a price. To pay for the 11-percent increase in days, there will be a 10-percent increase in tuition.

"Not even a question. An investment in your children pays dividends in the long term," said another parent.

A longer school year also means a shorter summer vacation, meaning school would likely start Aug. 16. Surprisingly, students seem OK with the shorter break.

"I actually like school, so I think that's kind of cool," said student Amanda Sanchez.

This comes at a time when many public schools are cutting back to save money.

In 2011, budget cuts forced the Los Angeles Unified School District to shed five instructional days from its public school calendar, shrinking the overall number to 175 days in a year.

Officials said there's been no discussion about extending the year for high schools within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.