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Earlier school start drawing some opposition

North Carolina students may get the summer vacations cut short. A bill at the state level may allow public schools to start the academic year two weeks earlier in August. A commerce committee voted in favor of allowing schools to start the academic year as early as August 8th. Back in 2004, lawmakers pushed start times back to August 25th, which was a positive for the tourism industry. It allowed families to vacation longer during the summer months, and it allowed high school students to work at summer jobs in the tourism industry. School officials argue that starting school earlier in August would help with exam schedules for students, but the bill has plenty of opposition. "There are a thousand reasons why. It has to do with families being together. It has to do with southeastern North Carolina, our county builds schools on sales tax so the very entity we are trying to help is the very entity fighting against extending the season so we can raise that money," said Representative Carolyn Justice, 16th District. Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden said, "We got to have people here to spend money and enjoy the beach and our entire coast. Not just the beach but the mountains and all of our state as tourism is such a big factor in our economy." The bill goes to the House floor for a vote this week. Even if it passes, it will still be up to county school boards to decide their own school calendar. This would just give them the option to start sooner.

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Year round

Why can't elementary and middle schools be year round and high schools on tradition calendar? And stagger the coastal, piedmont and mountain vacation times for the elementary and middle schools . This would help with tourism, because with staggered times there would be year-round business. The high schoolers could work during the summer and retirees and adults, fall, winter, and spring. It would extend our rental weeks and high weeks beyond the strict parameters of the ten week summer.


why are we worrying about teenagers working when we have so many adults who have been laid off and adults seeking second jobs. Why can't we employ them for seasonal work? Our schools are lacking in so many areas,our teens' focus should be on their education and future employment... not on making a quick buck for a cd.

I agree

I agree with you. I don't have a problemm with teens wanting to work (it establishes a work ethic) but priority should be given to that man or woman who is trying to support a family. They should come first, even for a part time job. At least, it would put food on the table.

Teens work for a reason

Many teens work to make a contribution to their family. My daughter has a classmate who's mother is terminally ill and the father is no longer in the picture. The kid works to help support his family. Many teens have to work to help their families...and not necessarily because their parents are deadbeats.

Agreed...No silver spoon here!

Some of us had to work as teens to help the family and save for college. I did landscaping from the age of 12 then Mr Clemmons and Mrs Flynn gave me my first job at the old Harris Teeter on College and Oleander. Learned life lessons there that no school or college could ever teach and developed a good work ethic early that carries on to this day. Also helped put food on the table and pay for transportation to get to school. Too many kids now are spoiled and would rather have things handed to them or deal drugs for fast money instead working like past generations. If the school system would let the teachers regain control of their classes and structure their time wisely like cutting out all the free day Fridays that I recall, they could get it done between September and May and still be competative with the Chinese and Russian schools!

These teens aren't taking

These teens aren't taking jobs away from adults...the jobs they are working are jobs most adults wouldn't take to begin with.

It's been a long time since

It's been a long time since I was a college student, but I can tell you CDs were the last thing I was purchasing. There are actually some kids working to help pay for college. Some may even be helping out at home because of a dead beat parent. The decision to open two weeks earlier should be planned for 2010, if at all. It's a little late to be doing that now. People have already made their summer plans, including daycare. Period.

Earlier start

I agree students need formal education but they also need time to develop life experience. Summer work provides them with valuable job skills and aids in the development of a work ethic lacking in many until time and experience teaches them they can't keep a job based on an ABC grading scale. Also, many students gain a perspective about what they want in a career. I personally developed a new appreciation for a job that provided a clean, air-conditioned work place after working in area crops for several summer seasons when growing up. The debate about school starting is being revived by those who are worried about EOG and EOC scores. If they quit teaching a test and started teaching what children need in order to be successful adults, maybe they wouldn't have as much time to spend arguing about when school should start.


This would be great in a perfect world. However, schools and teachers are "graded/rated" on their EOG & EOC scores. I do see it as a 2 fold problem. #1, there are jobs that kids take that out of work adults won't take. These jobs are needed for the tourism industry. At the same time (#2), students do not retain the information they are taught prior to long breaks (i.e. Christmas Break) after the break. Right now, there are 2 weeks of class after Christmas Break before exams for high school students. As for "prolonging" the school year, that isn't happening. State law says that students will have 180 days of class per academic year so that's not an issue.

While I agree...

Education should be #1, why extend the year? Teachers are already getting pay cuts. Gas is on the rise in summer months and buses will be running longer. All in all the State is in debt, yet prolonging the school year is on the table? Is this not going to cost more too?? When I was in school we started late Aug and ended begining of June. We didn't ahve year round schools... seems to me my generation is not hurting from lack of education.... I think its a bad way to push these kids TOO much. Much like the arguement of these State test that the schools rely on so much. My question on that also is if a school does good they get $$ if they do bad they get less $$. Does that sound right? Seems the bad school test scores need more help and there is a direct reason for the low scores. Gotta say the things that make the most sense never gets done anymore and it scares me to have kids and place them in public schools. i'll get a second one and go private. Nothing against teachers, they do there best(most anyway), but the idiots in charge are screwing EVERYTHING UP....

Everyone is making a great

Everyone is making a great point. It is a very debatable issue. My personal opinion is that if school needs to start early to ensure that exams can be taken before Christmas break, then it should. Tourism dollars are not more important than a sound education. I know most students work to earn money from college, but if you don't gain a solid education in school then college is not in your future. Times have changed. Jobs that most adults wouldn't ever think about taking...yeah, I'm sure the economy has changed their mind. One thing I think would help with the scheduling is cuting out so many teacher workdays. Now I'm sure I'm going to get bashed by teachers for making that comment...but damn! When I was in school, we didn't have so many teacher workdays. What is up with that? Every time I turn around my daughter is out of school for a teacher workday. If they could limit the workdays, they might be able to hold the start of school off by a couple of weeks. Again, the issue is debatable. Just like school uniforms. But with so many of our schools failing to make the No Child Left Behind requirements, something has got to change. And if it means an adjustment to the tourism side, then so be it.