This has been going on for how many years? There was the big fight a few years ago after some board members were elected on promises to institute a later starting date and then reneged. New members were elected to fix things – and some have changed their minds apparently in favor of the so-called balanced calendar, meaning early start date and more breaks.
The board even created a 21-member committee of parents, district staff members and personnel to hammer out a consensus, but not surprisingly after the group did its job, some complained that at least three school board members had indicated they did not like the proposed calendar – before it was even presented to the board.
Enter Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa who acknowledged that board members indeed found fault with the committee’s calendar for 2013-14. “Consensus decisions are messy,” he told the committee by way of trying to soothe their feelings. “It’s democracy in action,” he added. “We’re trying to come up with the best recommendation that we can.”
If the committee’s Calendar A or Hinojosa’s calendar is finally approved – a big “if” – then school is going to start earlier than the Aug. 13 date for the current school year. Calendar A calls for starting classes either Aug. 1 or Aug. 4, while Hinojosa sets Aug. 7 for the start.
In the committee, Calendar A got 80 points, and Hinojosa’s scored 73 points. So it appears that unless the school board dumps both the proposals, Cobb schools will start at least one week earlier than they did this year. All of which indicates the point made more than once that it seems the balanced calendar supporters will keep chipping away until we have year round schools in Cobb.
Board member Tim Stultz did recommend a change to move the Hinojosa start date from Aug. 7 to Aug. 12, thus keeping it on the second Monday of the month, same as the last two school years. It remains to be seen where that will go or whether the board majority is inclined to move the start date up by a week or two.
Chairman Scott Sweeney, feeling the effects of being in office a couple of years, presented figures to the board indicating that all the important factors – utility costs, attendance and student achievement – were not affected by the calendar. Which in turn suggests that Sweeney is seeing the light per the balanced calendar concept.
And what would any calendar dispute be without board member David Banks presenting his own special version, in this case, the “inverted calendar,” providing one-week breaks in October and February. Inverted, definitely apropos for Banks.
Here’s the best calendar: the current one.