School schedule changes cause for concern

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

During the 2012 legislative session, the Mississippi Senate and House of Representatives passed a law that would push the school start date back to the third week of August. In 2012, Gulf Coast tourism officials persuaded lawmakers to have school start later to accommodate the tourism industry. Some school districts across the coast had already implemented a later start date.

The law would go into effect for the 2014-15 school year.

So far the law has caused concern for school district administrations and the Department of Education.

School administrations are concerned about making sure students are going to attend school for the required amount of days for each semester that would also allow the students to prepare for testing.

This law is hurting the students and the teachers. It is taking away time teachers can spend making sure students are learning the material they need to be successful students, instead of rushing the information needing to be taught.

It is understandable that some districts might benefit from the delay in the school year, but that doesn’t mean every district should have to change.

Each school district should have the ability to set their start dates. There are only a few counties that can benefit from a longer summer for their tourism industry.

What is also not taken into consideration is all of the unforeseen events that could cause schools to have to shut down. This year, schools not only have to worry about this upcoming hurricane season, but also closures due to an unprecedented winter storm that closed schools for three days in January.

These types of events can further cut into the time students have to learn and prepare for testing.

Maybe a bill that is currently in the House will overturn the law and administrators and educators will have one less thing to worry about for the next school year.