For most of the nation's 44 million school-children, summer vacations begin in June. However, more than 1.7 million students will remain in classes a few weeks longer and get a shorter vacation break. They attend schools with “year-round education” (YRE) programs designed to improve academic achievement and/or ease overcrowding. YRE programs rearrange the school schedule into several instructional time blocks separated by shorter and more frequent vacation breaks. In most YRE schedules, the number of days in the school year remains the same as in traditional calendars. Supporters claim, among other things, that YRE reduces learning loss during the usual 10-12 week summer hiatus. Opponents say that time off is itself part of the learning and maturing process, and that YRE disrupts family activities.