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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