Extra school days for students likely next year
Posted November 30, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina education leaders said Wednesday that it is unlikely that school districts will have the same flexibility next year when it comes to days lawmakers have added to the academic calendar.
This summer, the General Assembly included five extra days to the 180-day calendar as part of the 2011-12 budget, but the State Board of Education waived the rule for most school systems after they expressed concerns about financial and scheduling implications.
Instead, schools used the days for teacher training.
Many districts have already made the same request for the 2012-13 school year, but state school board Chairman Bill Harrison said Wednesday that it's unlikely those requests will be approved.
The state board could vote on the school calendar waivers Thursday.
"We're charged with upholding the law – both the spirit and the intent of the law – so, I don't think I have a whole lot of choice in this one," he said.
State Superintendent June Atkinson and Harrison say they support more classroom time but worry about the impact on schools and teachers.
"I would encourage the school district to work to see how they can embed professional development as part of the educational day,” Atkinson said.
Leaders do want lawmakers to consider adjusting the start and end dates of the school year to help absorb the extra days.