Local News

Senate Committee OKs Measure To Change School Calendar

Posted July 15, 2004

— A controversial bill that would extend summer vacation for students continues to roll through the Legislature.

After passing the House Thursday, the Senate Education Committee approved the measure on Thursday. However, senators voted for five fewer teacher workdays, instead of 10 fewer workdays as the state House approved.

Under the bill, schools cannot begin until after Aug. 25 and must end by June 10.

Opponents of the bill claim the it robs local and state school boards of needed control.

"They have a right, as the law stands right now, to start school even after Aug. 25 if they choose to do so. I just think they are in a better position to address that," said Sen. John Garwood, R-Wilkes County.

"It's a lot of conversation and a lot of people who feel passionately about this on both sides, but it is one of those things, one of those decisions that we will have to make," said Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland.

The proposal goes to the Senate floor Friday. Even if the plan passes the Senate, the changes proposed by the Senate must be approved by the state House. Both sides hope to have a plan worked out by Saturday.

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