Extra school days for students likely next year

Posted November 30, 2011

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— 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.


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  • Sherlock Dec 1, 2011

    Stop the teacher work ddays and we would not have to have the extra days.

  • Screw WrAl Dec 1, 2011

    "My question is how will year round schools be able to add these extra days?"

    Saturdays. Enjoy.

  • Screw WrAl Dec 1, 2011

    "It hardly seems fair to require teachers to work extra days when they have not had a pay raise in four years."

    They can always quit if they don't like it. They're lucky to still have jobs. Thousands won't be able to say that after they slash the next budget because everything else has been cut. Teachers are next.

  • catherinecatlewis Dec 1, 2011

    What we have today is a school system run by politicians who have carefully constructed curriculum pandering to special interest groups who in turn provide capital for the politicians' political campaigns. Public education has nothing to do with the public or education.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Dec 1, 2011

    kal I agree to some extent but understand politics are involved everywhere, thats life. There are well educated areas as well as those that need improvement as no society is perfect. In some countries, the government pays for students all throughout school including college (some top colleges in the world by the way). Teachers are strict, but the parents are strict as well, the student have a much deeper passion and desire to learn there. Sports is not a factor or glorified nearly at all until college so there is really no such thing as a soccer mom.

  • kal Dec 1, 2011

    iceblue a few questions:
    1. Do these counties educate all of their children?
    2. Do these countries have students that are entitled to a free and appropriate education even if they do not want it?
    3. Do these countries have teachers that (as trublondmom put it) teach, parent, counsel, be psychologists with NO breaks (not even for lunch) during the workday for some?
    4. Do these countries allow parents to sue school systems over the types of materials used in the classroom (ie a specialized book series in one case), or for anything at all?
    5. Do these counties have homework moms or soccer moms?

    The problem is not the length of the school day it is all the requirements placed on school while having to deal with all the bologna of polotics.

  • jjrn Dec 1, 2011

    It hardly seems fair to require teachers to work extra days when they have not had a pay raise in four years.

  • trublondmom715 Dec 1, 2011

    I took a class over the summer to substitute teach and the things I learned were astounding! I feel sorry for teachers these days. They are expected to teach, parent, counsel and be psychologists in the classroom as they try and manage all the children with behavioral problems. Our school system has been "dumbed" down to accommodate the many things, that they never get around to teaching b/c of all the admin. tasks they have to do. I have 2 kids in public school after many years of home schooling. It's been a real wake up call. There are a lot of good things about our schools and I do think overall, the teachers get a raw deal because they never are able to leave the job in the classroom. That said, there is a lot of room for improvement in our educational system and I don't know that adding more days is going to improve anything.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Dec 1, 2011

    Students need to be school throughout the year, period. While students in the US are taking summer breaks, other countries have students in classrooms year round til 7 & 8pm at night, then they go home and study. Later they recieve grants from US federal gov't & colleges and climb the ladder over the average US citizen. If we don't invest better in education now, we will certainly pay for it later.

  • allscreennamesaretaken Dec 1, 2011

    @common sents-

    FYI, they used to offer a credit for each year a teacher taught during their renewal cycle. They are no longer giving service credits. So, actually the PD credits needed have only been reduced from 10 to 7.5. Which is good since they are cutting professional development days!

    My question is how will year round schools be able to add these extra days? They do not have teacher workdays built into their school year to convert to instructional days.