NC school board delays vote on additional classroom days
Posted December 1, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina State Board of Education on Thursday delayed a vote to make official that public school students will be spending more days in class starting next year.
The board was to decide whether to delay compliance with a new state law expanding the current 180-day school year to 185 days, but Gov. Bev Perdue asked the board to hold off on the vote after concerns about costs and teacher training.
"Mandating these dates while failing to provide funding and, in fact, simultaneously slashing the education budget overall, merely highlights the kind of games the legislature is playing with our children’s future," Perdue said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
About half of the state's 115 school districts have asked to postpone the longer school year, and the state had planned to recommend that those requests be rejected.
"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," state school board Chairman Bill Harrison said Wednesday.
The General Assembly approved the five additional days earlier this year as part of the 2011-12 budget, saying it would help students score better on standardized tests while preserving a state-mandated 10-week summer vacation.
School districts complain they will have to pay for five extra days of school bus fuel, heat and electricity, and other costs despite state spending cuts.