Calendar flexibility is an issue that received much more attention in this last school year, and for good reasons.
By 2017, North Carolina was one of only one of 14 states that had state laws that governed school calendars. The graphic below is from the Feb. 2017 Final Report to the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee on school calendars.
What is also shows is that North Carolina was at the time was one of the TWO states in the entire country whose laws dictated when a school could start and when it had to end.
Over 200 bills have been introduced in the NCGA and none have made it past committee in a legislature that had a super-majority in six years of the last eleven years because of opposition from another industry.
Now, some school systems are taking matters into their own hands.
Those systems who are opening early are right to do so.
They need to have the ability as local school systems to be able to have exams done before the winter break instead of having the “fall” semester end the day before Groundhog Day.
They need to have the flexibility to not have to consider forgiving days of school because of weather and other natural occurrences.
They need to have the flexibility to allow for schools to plan for professional development and workdays that actually help teachers prepare.
They need to have flexibility to allow schools to not have to start classes until after two football games have been played.