School Start Date Debate

House members are trying again to give school districts more leeway in when they can start class each year.

The House Education Committee scheduled debate Tuesday on legislation permitting school systems to start school as early as the second Monday in August. The current law requires districts to begin no sooner than Aug. 25.

The legislation wouldn't change the required end of school by June 10.

Parents and the travel industry convinced lawmakers in 2004 to pass a statewide school calendar law. They argued too many districts were cutting into traditional vacation time by starting in early August.

School systems have sought more calendar flexibility ever since. Administrators say the restrictions hurt student performance and make it difficult to end semesters before the December holiday break.


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  • by Dwayne Location: Greenville on Apr 22, 2009 at 04:33 PM
    We are behind almost every major country in education according to the numbers and administrators believe that it's partly because of a few weeks in the summer? Obama is taking over everything not nailed down; watch out teachers because you will be his next target. Ever teached in a socialist environment?
  • by teacher Location: nc on Apr 22, 2009 at 09:27 AM
    From a teachers stand point: There is NO WAY we can teach the students everything required by the state, in the time we are allowed. We barely have enough time to teach the basics. Lord forbid if a student has a question or needs extra help with something. It just throws everyone behind. I've been teaching in NC for 15 years and the State requirements change so much it's unreal. Just last year the requirements changed twice in one school year. What does that tell you. We, as a state, are SO FAR BEHIND on education that we will never get where we need to be.The children are tired of having things thrown at them, and not having enough time to learn what's required.I have a niece that's in 4th grade and she is doing work that my nephew did last year when he was in 7th grade.This is what I'm talking about.
  • by Greenville on Apr 22, 2009 at 08:53 AM
    Leslie, this is grade school not college. Why mess with the schedule that works. Maybe if parents would focus more on their students learning as opposed to worrying about schedules the kids might learn something!
  • by Leslie Location: Pitt County on Apr 22, 2009 at 04:38 AM
    To School Location Employee: Students do better if the final exams are given before the holiday season than three weeks after. The time schedule for that first semester was supposed to mirror college schedules. The problem was when the start date was pushed to Aug. 25 and the semester ended after the break, the state did not push back required state-wide tests, so teachers and students had less time to prepare. I hate the emphasis on the tests, but the test scores are looked at by the governments and by the public as inidications of whether learning has taken place. Just wanted to clarify...
  • by southerngal Location: eastern nc on Apr 21, 2009 at 10:28 PM
    When all of us parents was going to school we did not start at the beginning of August and we did just fine in school. If you spent as much time standing up for the teachers right to teach again instead of them always practicing for a test then as you did trying to get schools to start early then the kids would be able to do well on test because they would learn from being taught. I could care less what they do because I home school all of my kids because the federal goverment is not going to tell me that my child has to pass one test to be promoted. I want my child promoted because they have learned the material not because they got lucky and passed one test after spending all school year practicing for it. Except for two or three years out of the last 7 years schools around here always started back late August so leave the school calendar alone.
  • by school Location: employee on Apr 21, 2009 at 07:20 PM
    What freakin' difference does it make if a semester ends before Christmas break. NONE!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 21, 2009 at 01:49 PM
    This is crazy. School should begin after Labor Day and end Memorial Day.
  • by a mom Location: greenville on Apr 21, 2009 at 01:11 PM
    Let's be honest- the school calendar is not the reason for poor student performance!!
  • by Fed Up! on Apr 21, 2009 at 01:03 PM
    Why change it? If you leave it as it is we can make plans with our families. If the schools keep moving it around we have little opportunity to make plans. The start date isn't the problem with schools. If the parents would get involved and take resposibility for their kids then the kids would learn and would not need the extra days in school!
  • by concerned Location: nc on Apr 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM
    So the hearing for the Martin County school consolidation is set for June 1st. I think they're wasting their time.If they'd have fixed the schools up all along this would not have happened. I HOPE THE PARENTS WIN !!!
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