Georgia Republicans are considering a tourism-industry-driven proposal that would require local school districts to wait until after Labor Day to start classes.
I think it’s a bad idea.
First, school calendar decisions should be made whenever possible by the local district, not the state. What works for an urban district might not work in a rural district or in a suburban district like Cobb County. And what works in the mountains, with lots of snow days, might not work in the far south, where August temperatures are especially brutal.
Second, our children shouldn’t start after Labor Day just because their parents and grandparents did. We know now that students retain more learning from one year to the next when summer is shorter. That’s why Cobb adopted our current “balanced” calendar, with its early August start, in the first place.
Finally — and most importantly — we shouldn’t let the tourism industry set our education policy. Tourism’s important to our state, but the only considerations in setting our school calendars should be the needs of our students and their parents.
See this AJC article for more information: