Local Politics

Groups Clash Over School Calendar, Summer Break

Posted March 28, 2007 5:08 p.m. EDT
Updated March 28, 2007 7:52 p.m. EDT

— Three years after state lawmakers approved legislation setting public school calendars, the debate over a longer summer vacation returned to the General Assembly on Wednesday.

The 2004 law forced traditional-calendar schools to start no earlier than Aug. 25 and end no later than June 10.

Various school groups argued Wednesday that they need more control over the calendar, however. The current schedule creates havoc for students looking to take classes at community colleges or take Advanced Placement exams, they said.

"They don't get to take their exams until after Christmas. So that Christmas break, one, has not only been shortened, but they now have to spend their time during the Christmas break studying for those very high-stakes exams," said Leanne Winner, director of governmental relations for the North Carolina School Boards Association.

Meanwhile, the group Save Our Summers wants to hang onto the guaranteed time-off for students for which they fought in 2004. Longer summer breaks allow for family vacations and teenage work opportunities, they said.

"Constituents trusted their representatives to stay committed to this cause and to support this law. And especially now when the issue of trust is on everyone's mind, these people across the state are going to be watching," said Louise Lee of Save Our Summers.