AUSTIN (AP) — Top education leaders in the Texas Senate are examining ways to extend school days and school years to improve classroom learning.

Members of the Education Committee heard invited testimony Thursday from a school administrator at Houston Independent School District. There, officials sought permission to increase the school year by 10 days at some struggling campuses.

The district also made the school day longer by an hour at some campuses. It paid for the initiatives using government grants for at-risk kids and donations from businesses and the local community.

More time at school helped students improve dramatically academically.

Senators also heard from a nonprofit group that taught struggling public school students in Dallas on Saturdays using its own trained professionals rather than area teachers.

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