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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Bill would let schools finish first semester before winter break



Nearly every year we hear the debate somewhere in Florida about the problems associated with setting the school year calendar.

Law restricts districts from starting more than two weeks before Labor Day, unless they meet certain performance standards and get a waiver from the Department of Education. That leaves many systems with quandaries, such as whether they should end the first semester after winter break, and hope kids study while on vacation.

Sen. Bill Montford, who's also executive director of the Florida Association of District Schools Superintendents, has filed legislation that would end the consternation.

The Tallahassee Democrat, who sits on the Senate Education Committee, has proposed language that would retain the Labor Day provision. But it also would create a loophole:

"A district school board may advance the opening date for schools in the district by the number of days necessary to enable students to complete all classwork and assessments for fall-term courses 5 days before Christmas Day."

Sounds logical. Any predictions as to how far this idea might get?

[Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 1:54pm]


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