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N.C. School Calendar Bill Clears House Budget Panel

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Summer vacations would increase for public-school students under a bill passed by a House appropriations committee.

The bill now will be placed on the calendar for a vote on the House floor.

The bill would take effect for the 2005-2006 school year. It would require local school districts to start traditional-calendar classes no earlier than Aug. 25 and end no later than June 10.

The number of instructional days would remain at 180, but the school year would be shortened from 220 to 210 days by cutting teacher workdays without changing teacher pay. Teachers now get up to 20 workdays.

Some lawmakers questioned the expense and reduction of teacher work days called for in the bill.

Supporters of the bill include the tourism industry, parents and the state's largest teachers group.

Several education groups have hit back with numbers contending the measure could cost up to $205 million a year. The measure heads to the full House where lengthy debate is expected.

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