This resource provides an overview of state instructional time requirements for kindergarten through 12th grade — including days or hours/minutes per year, hours/minutes per day, and start and/or finish date parameters where they exist in state law. Education Commission of the States researched the requirements in state statute and administrative code to create this 50-State Comparison. When applicable, state-level policy and guidance set outside of statute and administrative code are included in the notes.

There are many exceptions to instructional time requirements across states, and not all of them are indicated in this 50-State Comparison. Unless otherwise indicated, states that have hours/minutes per year and days per year require both. This resource does not reflect instructional time policies specific to four-day school weeks or year-round schools.

Click on one of the 50-State Comparisons below showing how all states approach instructional time in current policy. Or choose to view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.

Key Takeaways:

  • Thirty-one states plus the District of Columbia require at least 180 days of instruction.
  • Fourteen states place parameters around school start and/or finish dates.
  • Thirty-five states differentiate the hours/minutes in a day or year, or the days in a year, based on grade levels.

50-State Comparisons

Related Resources


 PUBLISHED: January 14, 2020

 AUTHOR(S):

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 EDUCATION LEVEL:

 STATE(S): Nationwide

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