(CNN) — U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris introduced legislation on Wednesday to extend the school day to 6 p.m.
Harris says the idea is to align the school day with the traditional work day to reduce the burden of childcare on working families.
The Family Friendly Schools Act would extend the school day three hours – from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – during the school year.
Senator Harris is also calling for $1.3 billion annually to allow more children access to summer programming as well.
Most public schools are open for instructional time for 160-180 days out of the year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
This leaves parents to figure out how to care for children on afternoons, weekends and holidays.
For working and low-income families, paying for childcare presents a challenge.
One conservative blogger, Matt Walsh, warned the plan was an attempt by democrats to “replace the family with the state.”
The senate bill has a number of co-sponsors and also has support from the American Federation of Teachers.
The bill would not require teachers to work longer hours without additional pay.