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Lawmakers Expected To Push For Longer Summer For Students

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The long, lazy days of summer are the spring dreams of every school kid. Longer school schedules and shorter breaks are not only a disappointment for students, but for some businesses, as well.

Some lawmakers believe the state's tourism industry loses money when the summer is cut short and they want to change that.

Some North Carolina school systems start school as early as the first or second week in August.

Lawmakers are expected to consider a bill that will require school systems to start classes after August 25.

Six local school districts, including Durham,



Chapel Hill-Carrboro

, have already agreed to oppose the bill. Now,

Wake County

has added its name to the list.

The shrinking summer prompted Louise Lee to form Save Our Summers. The group's

Web site

boasts more than 11,000 signatures, supporting a return to the long days of summer for the children's sake.

"They need a complete break during the summer. [They need] time to be creative. Time to just think and dream and have downtime," Lee said.

Lake owner John Gensinger says the current school schedule reduces his work force and his bottom line.

"What happens is the school started shrinking the summer and now we're down to 60 to 65 days," Gensinger said.

The General Assembly will discuss lengthening the summer in the upcoming short session. The Wake County School Board is on record opposing such a move.

"Our objective is to make sure that we give kids the best education with the resources we have available," said Susan Parry, Wake County school board chairwoman.

Parry says the job of school scheduling is best left up to local school systems.


Ken Smith, Reporter
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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