NC House Agrees To Let Schools Open Earlier

North Carolina public school districts could start classes as much as 2 1/2 weeks earlier in a bill tentatively approved in the House.

The bill approved 77-41 Wednesday is the latest effort by state education groups to loosen a 2004 law requiring schools to begin no
earlier than Aug. 25 and end by June 10.

The measure would move the start date to as early as Aug. 8.

The original law has been defended by the tourism industry and parents who want to keep traditional summer vacations.

Bill supporters said districts should have the flexibility to decide when classes begin. Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham County argued it also would ensure exams end before Christmas break.

A final vote could come Thursday. Then it would go to the Senate.

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  • by Anonymous Location: NC on May 20, 2009 at 07:22 AM
    At our school, we started in late August and still had our exams before we got out for Christmas break... Maybe schools should plan their exam's differently so that their students can actually enjoy their time off. And no, I don't go to a private school, I go to a public one.
  • by James Location: Dare County on May 17, 2009 at 05:21 PM
    NC already has problems recruiting and retaining quality teachers. Lets see what we can do to make it harder! Oh i got it. Lets cut their pay make them work more. No where in this article does it say that school would let out earlier. Lets also forget about the high schools students who work summer jobs. These students work and save money for college or to help out their families. There are a lot of businesses that close after tourist season. Yes two weeks can make these students loose hundreds of dollars if not a thousand depending on their job. That would leave employers looking for replacements for these students. Employers might not be willing to hire high schools students knowing that they could not work the entire season. Wonder how often schools will have to be let out early due to extreme heat warnings that are common in august.Leaving parents scrambling to pick up or find care for their children.
  • by Husband of a Teacher Location: The New Ber on May 14, 2009 at 12:22 PM
    With the teacher pay cuts, and the budget problems, why add the expense of adding 2 weeks of school. I agree the school year should be longer, but the timing is horrible.
  • by Anonymous on May 14, 2009 at 08:22 AM
    I am a high school teacher and we need to start earlier! High schools in most counties are on a sememster schedule like college and this would help for the first semester to end before Christmas. Then students could enjoy Christmas break without having to worry about exams when they come back. Also the school year would not be longer, if it starts earlier it would end earlier. The students would go the same amount of days, so summer break would stay the same in length! I am for this change!!
  • by Anonymous on May 14, 2009 at 07:40 AM
    Do not like the idea of starting earlier. With the budget problems, why would the state want the schools to start then. More cost, due to air condition running more, long bus rides in the hottest part of the month, some kids ride one and a half hours on these buses. Sounds like our elected officials need to ride on these buses and see how hot it is. But that's NC way of doing things, worry about budget problems, cut pay then do things like this just for a few.
  • by Parent on May 14, 2009 at 07:26 AM
    Everyone is missing the point. They are not going to be in school any longer!!!! Same amount of instruction time, but the start and end dates will be 2 weeks earlier in the calendar year.
  • by ace Location: plymouth on May 14, 2009 at 06:10 AM
    Some people who want a full time babysitter has these politicians in their pocket. Its a proven fact childern do not learn more if they are in school longer. If they are in school longer they should cover more information. If the learning curve is the same the test results will be the same. The smart ones will get smarter and the dumb ones stay that way or more will drop out which will cause us to have to pay more for specical programs to teach the dumb and lazy. Tax payers that voted these people in office are going to have to come up with the extra money to pay for at least fuel, electrical cost and FREE meals.
  • by teacher Location: Beaufort co on May 14, 2009 at 06:09 AM
    Kids do better on end of grade tests when they are done earlier in the year. The kids don't care about school this close to summer! All they want to do is play outside when warm weather hits. The length of summer break is the same either way...its better when we go back early August. I'm happy they are changing it! I hope it passes!
  • by Parent on May 14, 2009 at 05:47 AM
    Up north, we didn't start later. We started in the last full week of August. There were a couple years we didn't get out until June 19 or 20 because we had make-up days for snow. With that being said, we also didn't get out for two weeks at Christmas. Our first day off was usually Christmas Eve, and we went back on the 2nd. We also did not get off an entire week for Easter. Sometimes we only got off one day b/c of make-up days from snow. We took our exams around MLK Jr. Day. I personally would rather schools start a little earlier anyway. The kids would get out of school around Memorial Day. The rentals on the coast are cheaper and easier to get in June because most families in other areas can't vacation until the end of the month. The weather is nicer. I never go on vacation to the beach in August anyway. It is so hot, and the flies are biting, and you always have the chance of getting your vacation ruined by a hurricane.
  • by Anonymous Location: NC on May 14, 2009 at 05:41 AM
    If they are going to start school earlier, the year should end earlier, in my opinion. I have some friends that are high school teachers and do not like the fact that exams take place after Christmas because they have to spend the 3 weeks coming back reviewing because kids seem to forget everything they learned in a 3 month period in the span of 2 weeks. Part of the problem is the block scheduling that has been put in place. I graduated 10 yrs ago before the fad of block scheduling....we started at the end of august, finished in early june and had all of our exams completed before the Christmas holidays.
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