Georgia Voices: Back to school — Later start date would better serve nation
by The Brunswick News
August 08, 2013 10:54 PM | 1960 views | 5 5 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In school, students learn to solve simple mathematical problems like this: 2 + 4 = 6. They also learn that “2” and “4” will always equal “6” when added together regardless of the order of the two numbers.

Based on that same theory, would it really matter which 180 of the 365 days in the year children went to school? Would it matter whether they started in early August or, like they used to, after Labor Day, the first Monday in September?

Apparently it means something to the Glynn County Public School System and to other public school systems in the state. Most now start the year within the first or second week of August, once a prime summer vacation month.

It also apparently means something to the tourism industry, as well as to the number of jobs and amount of sales tax and bed tax generated in communities where visitors contribute significantly to the local economy. That includes Glynn County, where thousands of guests flock to the shores during the broiling weeks of August.

Our own school system prefers an early start so it can complete the first semester before the students start Christmas break in December. Is there another way this can be achieved without starting back as early as Aug. 8, this year’s go-back date? How about returning to the standard two-day Thanksgiving break in November instead of taking off the whole week like the school system plans to do this year? Certainly there are adjustments that can be made to the school calendar to accomplish a first semester December completion date without making August almost a full month of school.

Yes, this sounds like a broken record, but what in the world is wrong with taking off summers, enjoying the season, creating jobs and generating tax dollars for our community and public school system? The sales tax in Glynn County is 6 percent, 1 percent of which goes to roll back property taxes in the city and county and another 1 percent which goes to build new schools and improve school facilities.

This state and nation did just fine — better than fine, in fact — when children returned to school after Labor Day. It produced students who grew up to build a nation with the know-how and capability of repelling dark forces bent on world domination during World War II and which has been — and hopefully will continue to be — an international leader.

School boards and the state legislature should study the pros and cons of early school starts and put an end to this debate, a credible end, once and for all.

Comments
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Hank Moody
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August 12, 2013
Not to mention the HEAT! Having kids in full football uniforms during the oppressive August heat is outrageous and has proven to be a health risk - with some kids literally dropping dead on the field. Wouldn't it make sense to start early September?

I have yet to understand this and it seems like kids are going back earlier and earlier each year.
FINALLY!!!
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August 10, 2013
YES! Later start date!
west cobb mom
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August 10, 2013
Walking past the sparkling blue neighborhood pool (which was rained on almost every day in June and July) to stand at the bus, and then feeling like a slavemaster sitting over the kids doing their homework right after school and putting them to bed early so they can rise at 6am for their bus at 7....something is SO Fundamentally WRONG with starting all this in August. Southern Living magazine has Rick Bragg describing the Grinches who came up with it, and lamenting the end of summers as we knew them. Check it out.
rjsnh
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August 09, 2013
I agree 100%
lee in Cobb
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August 10, 2013
In CCSD there are 5 furlough days that helped push the start day back to August 7th..balancing the budget by cutting teacher/staff pay is wrong. Why not have the GA Legislature FUND QBE 100% instead of the continued cuts each year started by Purdue in 2003. Oh that's right the Republican/ALEC controlled GA Legislature's agenda to to destroy public schools by defunding.

By the way I'm a 50 yr old native Atlantan and we NEVER started school after labor day. What is so magic about starting after Labor Day? School ending in late June is not a better option. Not sure why the continued angst over school start and stop days. This issue is best left to the local school board NOT the public school hating legislature.
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