A state Department of Education task force recently recommended making Oklahoma’s school year longer, eventually by 17 days.

Students may not like the idea, but since Oklahoma has the shortest school year in the region, according to State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, it’s probably time it was lengthened. It certainly wouldn’t hurt kids to spend more time learning.

Of course, the important thing is that they do spend that time learning, not watching movies or going on field trips. Teachers must be prepared to teach those extra days, and they must have the materials to do it.

Unfortunately, the task force did not include any funding recommendations in its report. Tuesday, the State Board of Education amended its budget request for next year, asking the Legislature to fund an additional five days of instruction.

More days in school will cost more, even if all the students are doing is sitting there quietly. It costs just to keep the buildings open.

Actually learning will cost even more, as teachers will need more supplies for more days in class.

If the Legislature is not prepared to provide more money to schools, then it shouldn’t try to make them stay in session longer. Even a fifth grader can do that math.

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