The school year used to start in September – and end in June.
But these days, an increasing number of schools are starting classes at the beginning of August. And a lot of parents aren’t happy about it.
Administrators believe a shorter summer break helps keep students from forgetting what they learned the year before. It also gives schools more teaching time before students have to take the mandatory state achievement tests. The ones that help determine school funding.
But critics say the early start is hurting families and summer businesses – and isn’t improving student grades or test scores. A study by the University of Minnesota found that when schools start before Labor Day, family summer-vacation-travel drops by one-third. And owners of campgrounds and public pools are going bankrupt because their customers are drying up by mid-summer.
Plus, in August, it’s way too hot for students to be packed on sweltering school buses with no air conditioning – or participate in outdoor PE or sports.
And it hurts tight school budgets, because it takes a lot more energy to cool classrooms in August, than in June – when schools used to get out. But now, a lot of kids start summer vacation in May.
Plus, a recent study by the University of Texas found that an August start doesn’t improve test scores.
Bottom line: The early school start doesn’t seem to be helping anybody.
What do you think? Do you miss the old days – when school let out for summer in mid-June and didn’t start up again until after Labor Day?