OKLAHOMA CITY -- Educators and political leaders say their plan to lengthen Oklahoma's school year is aimed at preparing students for the 21st century's global economy.
Governor Brad Henry, Superintendent of Schools Sandy Garrett and the state Board of Education are supporting a plan to add five days to Oklahoma's current 175-day school year.
Garrett says that would bring the state up to the national average of 180 days of instruction.
The length of Oklahoma's school year can be traced back to early statehood, when demands of life on the farm meant that students were expected to perform their share of the chores.
But now the state's school year is the shortest in the nation.
State lawmakers have been looking for ways to cut into the $90 million cost of adding five days to the school year. A proposal currently in the state Senate would convert three professional training days for teachers into instructional days for students.