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The Year-Round School Debate

Among 34 countries around the world, the United States has one of the shortest school years. The traditional school year in America is 180 days. South Korean children spend 220 days total in the classroom while Finland has a 190 day school year. Both educational systems rank higher than the United States in math and sciences.

Over the past decade, arguments have evolved concerning whether American school children are in school too few days. Some educators and school boards want to implement a year-round school system. This has been both embraced and rejected. One problem at the core of these arguments is the definition of year-round schooling.

pros and cons list

What is Year-Round School?

The term year-round school can mean two specific types of school year. One definition proposed by some educators is the increase of the actual days from 180 to more. The more common use of the term year round school does not mean any actual increase of the American school year. It actually refers to a reallocation of students over the year.

Under a 180-day year-round school year, students work within a system in which the time off for vacations and holidays is more equitably distributed. There are shorter breaks between semesters or terms. Some schools prefer the 45 days on and 15 days off plan while others look to other models. These include a 60-day on and 20 off and 90 days in class and 30 days out.

Arguments in favor of year-round school

There are a few individuals who argue for a year-round school system of some form. Proponents of increasing the actual time see it as a means of keeping up with the rest of the world. The lack of skills in math and science in particular when compared with much of the world is seen as detrimental and the result of too little time spent learning. An increase in actual total class time is perceived as a means of decreasing the amount of time spent by students relearning what they have forgotten over the summer vacation or due to any extended holidays.

In general arguments in favor of an altered system, the traditional American concept of a year-round school include the following:

• A decrease in the amount of information forgotten during long breaks
• Remediation is more easily accessed during the time in school
• More efficient use of school buildings and resources
• If the system moves to multi-tracking, it is easier to accommodate a larger school population
• Shorter breaks influence enrichment education in a positive manner
• Allows families to arrange for vacation time of a shorter and more affordable and even viable nature
• Decreases any onset of boredom that may occur during longer periods off school
• Day care costs can decrease

Arguments against year-round school

There are several arguments made against changing the basic 180 day school year in any shape or form. Some argue that children need the time off to be “just kids.” In essence, however, the arguments against all-year schooling are as follows:

• There are no definitive results on studies supporting its benefits
• It does not matter whether children are on holiday a few days or many. They will require review of the material they have forgotten
• Schools may not be in a condition to handle the needs of children during the summer heat
• It is hard for a youth to find a job for shorter period and in off-season
• Certain summer programs may suffer such as camps of various types
• Specific after school programs may not have sufficient numbers if the school year alters. Those that do may be out-of-synch with the performance and competitive year
• School maintenance bills will rise
• The administrative work load of teachers will increase
• Difficulty of co-ordination may exist in families with children in two different forms of year-round schooling

There is no conclusive data on whether a year-round system works as effectively as the traditional school year. The academic data is too scattered. The efficiency rates on the subject also vary. If an actual all-year round system with increased days spent in the classroom was implemented, it would need to be tracked over a period of years to see whether it would produce similar inconclusive results.

Sources: CNN,

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Mary Brown

Mary Brown

Mary Brown has enjoyed writing about education and finance related topics, such as scholarships, student loans, college, vocational degree choices, and adult education since the early 2000's. She also writes about school budgets, accreditation and fundraising.


  1. Martina
    May 20, 2021 at 12:13 pm — Reply

    Traditional school is better then year long, just the thought of how it would be makes me cringe. It also made me come along the thought of how going between grades would be like. Anyone who knows, please let me know!

  2. Isaac R
    March 30, 2021 at 7:55 am — Reply

    I REALLY hate year round school!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so STUPID!!!!!!!!
    And it is 2021!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. RL
    February 25, 2019 at 7:50 am — Reply

    Year round schools will cost the economy around a 4 to 9 percent increase. I don’t see the benifit of year round schools. Students forget just as well in 3 weeks as 10 weeks.

  4. June 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm — Reply

    School is meant to be fun, not long, boring and tiresome.

    • qp
      November 4, 2019 at 11:21 am — Reply

      Research the origin of school. I’m pretty sure school wasn’t supposed to be fun. If you really think that school was meant to be fun, well then oof. No matter how long, boring and tiresome school is, you need it to get a stable job and living. If you don’t think school is needed, then get ready to live on the streets.

  5. May 24, 2018 at 1:20 pm — Reply

    Both year round school years and normal have 180 days of school its just stretched out through the year honestly I like normal school better then all year

  6. BOBBY
    February 21, 2018 at 5:02 pm — Reply

    I hate year round school. It should not exist, it s stupid and you can’t spend time with your family!

    • Aaron
      March 19, 2018 at 7:21 am — Reply

      Year round school is awesome!!!

    • March 19, 2018 at 9:33 am — Reply

      Ya school round is just plain evil

    • Aidan
      March 21, 2019 at 7:27 am — Reply


    • s
      November 4, 2019 at 11:25 am — Reply

      You do realise year round school students get breaks, right? They get 2-3 week mini vacations every 3 months. Next time do some more research before posting something. I could be wrong, this is just what my 6th grade teacher told me

  7. Jim
    February 12, 2018 at 8:47 am — Reply

    when was this published?

    • February 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm — Reply

      Hello Jim, thanks for stopping by! It was published on our old site in 2012 and re-published in 2014 (see first comments).

  8. M.J
    August 4, 2017 at 7:44 am — Reply

    If school was year round then there would be no time to go on vacation. And………………………..GIVE US A BREAK!

    • q
      October 30, 2019 at 11:37 am — Reply

      mate we get breaks between moths for like 2-3 weeks

  9. Michael Scott
    May 8, 2017 at 9:57 am — Reply

    I think that school should be year round because it allows schools to use more paper helping paper companies.

  10. Henry R
    April 4, 2017 at 11:44 am — Reply

    School year round has many benefits. It may not seem like it to everyone in school because school requires work but in many ways year round school is great.

  11. marlo
    March 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm — Reply

    I think that students shouldn’t attend school all year round. There should be some stressless days in the year. Besides, we go to school to learn – when will we be able to apply what we’ve learned? We have to have summer break to experience and use what we have been taught.I know, that many kids probably just mess around during the summer, but that’s their choice to make. That’s affecting THEM. That also develops independence, which is good.

    Also, I hate school with a burning passion. so. that KIND OF affected which side I supported, you know? just kidding. ish.

  12. Connor
    March 2, 2017 at 8:01 am — Reply

    I don’t like school and I don’t care about it -_-

  13. PersonInAmerica
    February 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm — Reply

    Wow its 2017 and we still are debating this.

  14. nyia
    February 27, 2017 at 9:03 am — Reply

    School is not fair, I hate school so much.

  15. nyia
    February 27, 2017 at 8:55 am — Reply

    People don’t need school; they can teach them self.

    • Camarkis Carpel
      October 30, 2019 at 11:40 am — Reply

      You can’t teach yourself something that you haven’t learned. Do I hate school? heck yes of course. Do i think it’s necessary, yup. No matter how hard you try, unless you use another source, you can’t learn anything. So technically, it’s impossible to teach yourself unless you know something before hand. But you can’t know something before hand without being taught it.

    • q
      October 30, 2019 at 11:44 am — Reply

      they cant teach themselfs if they dont know it

    • q
      October 30, 2019 at 11:47 am — Reply

      You can’t teach yourself something you haven’t learned. You need an outside source to teach you something.

  16. the person in your window
    February 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm — Reply

    school sucks and teachers suck but its life

    • david
      May 11, 2017 at 3:11 pm — Reply


    • ANDY
      December 4, 2019 at 6:59 am — Reply


  17. cool cat
    February 10, 2017 at 8:15 am — Reply


  18. the man
    November 29, 2016 at 10:49 am — Reply

    If we had year round school students would be more stressed out leading to depression and that would lead to people disagreeing to go to school and that would lead to people not learning anything.

      April 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm — Reply

      Dude, year round schools have the same amount of days as normal ones, they just give you 3 medium sized breaks instead of 1 long one and 2 short ones. Also studies show that year round schools are a lot less stressful because of the spread out breaks.

  19. cooldude
    November 29, 2016 at 10:46 am — Reply

    I for one am against year round school because kids will get to stressed and mad because of all the extra work.

  20. austin
    November 29, 2016 at 10:42 am — Reply

    Why is there even a debate? A lot of kids already don’t even like school. This would just make it worse.

  21. Melody
    December 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm — Reply

    I agree with year round school; there are more breaks and it just means u won’t forget.

  22. Shyann
    November 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm — Reply

    I think that this is a really cool site and I also think it is cool because you can comment any thing you would like to write.

  23. February 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm — Reply

    I like the year around shool

  24. February 26, 2015 at 7:36 am — Reply

    I need breaks so I can play with my friends
    and play xbox 360.

    • juice goodness
      December 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm — Reply

      Year round school leads to more stress, more stress leads to depression, depression leads to drugs, and drugs lead to suicide. Stop the violence and dont do yearlong school!

  25. tyler
    February 26, 2015 at 6:49 am — Reply

    I like traditional schooling :-3 it gives kids more time for fun.

  26. Jeb a.
    February 25, 2015 at 9:24 am — Reply

    Kids need time off of school to hang out with friends and family

  27. Anthony y.
    February 20, 2015 at 8:02 am — Reply

    I reff soccer and if the time in summer goes down I lose money.

  28. Dakota Cusumano
    February 19, 2015 at 8:10 am — Reply

    Year-round schooling has shown no marginal improvement in the education of american students. There have been multiple studies conducted on this topic. We do not need more school days or a more proportional calendar, we need quality educators and serious reform in our curriculum.

  29. Alex
    January 28, 2015 at 10:56 am — Reply

    I for one agree with year round school.

    • wes
      January 23, 2017 at 7:39 am — Reply

      i hate school

  30. Billy
    January 12, 2015 at 11:39 am — Reply


    • Saumya
      January 27, 2015 at 9:23 am — Reply

      What sucks? The year round school or the 3 month summer?

      • Sj
        March 4, 2015 at 5:29 am — Reply

        The year around school of course the 3 months to do what ever rocks. I mean xbox nah that you can do every day after school but things like camp and summer schools take half the summer that woud need to change.

      • nasier
        February 1, 2017 at 6:42 am — Reply

        year round school

        • nasier
          February 1, 2017 at 6:42 am — Reply

          Year round school sucks.

    • March 18, 2016 at 5:12 am — Reply

      Tell what sucks. Maybe you can persuade other people to feel the same way.

  31. Spencer
    December 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm — Reply

    I’m against this too because honestly school is annoying. Even if everyone wanted year round schooling there is no way the the school or community could afford it. In order to have school all year round that means extreme increase in electricity bills and the purchase of more lunches plus replacing technologies that break down (considering they will be used more).

    The school would also have to pay the teachers all year round and they can barley keep up with what they pay them now so that would mean they would have to get rid of teachers (crowded class rooms) or raising taxes. People can only agree to raise taxes so much the funding for extra curricula start to go. First most likely small miscellaneous classes, art, music, and finally finishing with sports. So even if everyone wanted all year round school people just cant afford it.

    • Mckane Vigoren
      January 20, 2015 at 9:17 pm — Reply

      First of all they already pay for electricity and teachers all year. The utility’s would be used more often and make it so they aren’t being paid for while no one is using them.

      • Dakota Cusumano
        February 19, 2015 at 8:17 am — Reply

        No, they do not pay a full electric bill year round, during breaks or when the building is empty it is set to conserve as much power as possible. That means turning of all unused appliances, a year round school would require an increased use in lights, computers, kitchen appliances and A/C. As for teachers, they are not paid year round, the have 2 options for a salary, either A: in the 9 months school is in session they get paid a surplus each month to cover the break periods such as summer. V: they receive a spread out salary to cover all 12 months. A year round school would increase the amount of money we would have to pay as tax payers to maintain our schools and pay our educators.

  32. Evan
    December 5, 2014 at 10:08 am — Reply

    Currently I am a student and I attend the average American school, with a 180 school day year; I believe schools should have an all year school program. Some of these comments serve as a reminder to why this should be. Students should learn the knowledge presented to them in a fashionable way, and as of right now, students have plenty of breaks when it comes to time off. I am not a straight A student, but I feel I would benefit from an all year school program.

  33. victor
    October 20, 2014 at 9:00 am — Reply

    i belive kids should enjoy childhood and not spend cildhood in school.

    • Izaiah smith
      December 1, 2014 at 7:18 am — Reply

      I second that

    • Mckane Vigoren
      January 20, 2015 at 9:14 pm — Reply

      Yeah, so when they get older there will be some people to live under the bridges and living off the government. Great idea Victor!

      • Alex G.
        February 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm — Reply

        That’s a great point Mckane

  34. October 20, 2014 at 8:54 am — Reply

    I think kids should have days off their minds can not handle learning stuff everyday I’m mean yes they learn but they need time to rest their minds and have some fun with their friends

    • q
      October 30, 2019 at 11:50 am — Reply

      You do realise that year round schools have breaks. 10 month schools have 2 month breaks while year round schools have 2 week breaks every 3 months

  35. michaelia
    October 15, 2014 at 7:06 am — Reply

    I’m don’t like school and kids need time with family NOT SCHOOL

  36. ALEXIS A.
    September 24, 2014 at 11:10 am — Reply


  37. Jack loen
    June 4, 2014 at 10:19 am — Reply

    No school round kids need a break from the same old same Old

    • Alex G.
      February 4, 2016 at 3:53 pm — Reply

      Technically, year round school will give us a longer summer break but shorter winter and spring break. Its perfect because kids lose all their knowledge of the things they learned in their subjects. Teachers get a shorter break though, anyways i’m down with year-round schooling is an excellent idea.

  38. erica gallagher
    May 22, 2014 at 7:56 am — Reply

    i think we should not have school all year round bc no one likes school and kids need a break

    • Fatima
      September 8, 2014 at 8:30 am — Reply

      school year round is the same just constant breaks they are both 180 days I am against this to but still…

  39. jayd
    May 15, 2014 at 8:53 am — Reply

    not good

    • Alex
      November 4, 2014 at 10:39 am — Reply

      Why not? I mean, don’t just go on a website and leave a hate comment saying “Not good.” Why is it not good? Leave some kind of feedback so that they can try to change it and make it better. Nobody likes to just get a comment that says they are bad for no apparent reason. What makes it bad?

      • Bob Fred
        February 25, 2015 at 8:31 am — Reply


      • Dipenstein
        June 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm — Reply

        Uh, that’s is personal opinion.

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