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Debate begins on the start of the school year

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School districts across the state could soon have more say on when classes start for students. The House Education Committee began debate Tuesday on legislation permitting school systems to start school as early as the second Monday in August. Current state law requires districts to begin classes no sooner than August 25th. A supporter of the bill said an earlier start would help students finish semester classes and take end-of-course tests before winter break. The legislation would not change rules that require the school year to end on June 10.

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Most of us grew up starting

Most of us grew up starting school the day after Labor Day and I doubt there is any scientific research that claims our children are smarter if they start school in what is essentially the middle of summer. I have heard all of the arguments about how seniors with enough credits can graduate at the end of December, etc., but that number of students is very small compared with the overall school population and should not be used as an excuse to make the change. There are many students who have summer jobs that either assist in supporting their families or else they are putting those funds in savings for college. They should be allowed to work them. There are many buses that are not air conditioned and some of the schools are not completely air conditioned and it is ridiculous to expose the children to the heat and humidity and expect them to learn anything. Anyone who has spent an August in NC knows how hot and humid it is here in that month. There is also the matter of tropical storms and hurricanes, and the since August is prime hurricane season, this results in more time missed from school due to weather issues than if school starts later. School should start the day after Labor Day and end the second week in June. If 180 days of education cannot be fit into that time frame with all of the teachers' work days, potential bad weather days, and "no days", then eliminate some of them.