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Bill would make Indiana schools start after Labor Day

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Indiana schools would not be allowed to start the academic year before Labor Day under a bill that has cleared a Senate committee.

The Senate Education Committee voted 6-3 for the bill on Wednesday, which would change school calendars starting in the 2013-2014 school year.

Republican Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel said it makes sense to start school after Labor Day because families would have more summer vacation time together. Supporters also say the switch could reduce the cost of cooling classrooms in August. School boards of year-round schools could opt out of the changes after holding public hearings.

Opponents say decisions about school calendars should be left up to individual districts, and that mandating a start date takes away that local control.

The bill now moves to the full Republican-controlled Senate for consideration.

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  • Fort Wayne Community Schools
    Again largest district in the state and none of the schools have air conditioning!
  • NO AIR CONDITIONING!
    No air conditioning is the number one reason! How can the kids focus on studying when they are sitting in a 95 degree classroom where most of the children's parents will not purchase simple toiletry items such as deodorant! Dripping with sweat dealing with the odor and no ventilation, these kids can't possibly be learning anything for the first couple weeks of school! Please ban school starting before LABOR DAY! Michigan did it in 2005!
    • Waste of valuable time
      At a time when we should be thinking of ways to have kids in school more days so as not to lose more ground with other nations as Mitch pointed out in his State of Indiana address, why is this even being considered?
    • What next, Mr.Delph?
      The color of the IU uniforms? One would think we're living in great times when Mr. Delph wants to legislate the starting date for schools, with his stated reason being better vacation planning. Sheesh.
    • Split the baby
      As a parent of 6 (ages 11 - 23), all of whom attend(ed) HSE schools, I have long thought that a mid-August start is just plain stupid. However, post Labor Day seems too late. How about a simple but effective compromise somewhere in between the two dates? For example, if we were looking at 2011, why not Aug. 29th? Seems to accomplish everyone's goals with minimum downside.
    • School year and working families
      Add me to the list of those who cannot see how this will help anything. What is the difference between a family vacation in early June versus one in late August, other than wherever you are vacationing is going to be less ungodly hot?
      I do feel for those school districts without air conditioning.... let's consider providing AC in all public schools instead, and look into year-round or modified year-round calendars. As a family with two working parents, our child spends her summer in a series of day camps anyway...it is a sad fact of life these days that there are very few lazy summer weekdays by the pool for most working families. I would much prefer to take my family vacation during an extended Fall break when rates would be lower and weather better.
      In addition, now that our district has lost summer school and remedial programs due to budget cuts, three solid months with no instruction is very hard on kids who struggle through the school year. A comment above mentioned burnout -- the best way to prevent student burnout is through more frequent, longer breaks, not by shifting the one big break two weeks later as a symbolic nod to the way things used to be.
    • Agreed
      I had the same thought. What does this really buy anyone. If the number of days is the same, then we're way into June now and imposing on the time when we typically schedule our family vacations. I don't get it, really.
    • this bill is irresponsible
      As poorly as Indiana schools perform, this bill is irresponsible and short-sighted. Parents will complain that schools end too late for them to have more summer vacation together. Shame on Rep Delph!!!
    • Me and W.C.
      As a certified curmudgeon I want the kids back in school as early as possible so I can enjoy the late summer kid free!
    • Good choice.
      Growing up in NJ, we always started school after Labor Day and that was the true end of summer and the beginning of the new school year. I think Mr. Delph is making a great choice, Way to go!
    • Positive Results
      Children are not ready to learn when the temperatures are in the 90's and they have gone back to school. I would rather have my children go to school right after Labor Day and get out in early June. If you look at the weather pattern in Indiana usually in late May and early June it isn't even warm enough for the children to go to the pools yet. There have been exceptions but I also remember several years where it has been down right cold on Memorial Day weekend and it is too cold to even go to the pool. However, in early August when it's very hot and the children have already gone back to school we don't even get to use much of our pool membership because once school starts there is homework every night so we usually lose out on about a month that we have paid for the last few years. But it isn't just about the lack of being able to go swimming our children aren't even allowed to be kids any more. Education is important don't get me wrong however, if kids keep starting school so early they become burned out and don't care as much about learning. My kids school had a meeting earlier this year and wanted parents input on how we felt about the start date being so early. I went to this meeting but the only thing they talked about was mandated tests, AP tests and the like. I thought one of the reasons Mitch Daniels wanted to move I-Step testing to the spring was to allow schools to start at a later date. That has not been the case, instead my children's school has started earlier every year since then. I have come to the conclusion that unless the state steps in the schools will start when ever they want regardless of how the parents feel. I for one don't intend to be silent about my childrens start date and unless parents speak up our children will begin to have year round school everywhere. I am not a fan of this at all. I have a child who is learning disabled and one of his enjoyments is to play baseball in the summer. If we have school year round he wouldn't be able to play as he struggles to do his homework and there wouldn't be time for practice and games. I have never understood this concept of the summers being shortened for my school children but then my college kids don't start until well after my others ones and they get our the first week of May and have a long summer. Lets let our children be kids. They have to growup way to early these days anyway.
    • Negative Results
      I am a teacher and I can tell you this will have a negative impact on learning. By the time spring rolls around, the cabin fever fromt he long winter and pent up energy along with the raging hormones in the middle school make behavior management tougher in May than any other month of the year. By Memorial Day when the weather is better, the 500 weekend is going and the pools open, kids have checked out. By August, most kids are refreshed and after they get back to school for a day, glad to be out of the most intense heat of the year in Indiana. Learning during this time is some of the most productive of the year.

      Also, many schools like my own must keep their boiler or air conditioning running year round. When we shut off the air, condensation from the pipes leak through the ceilings and cause damage to the school. Regardless of whether kids are in school or not in August, the air conditioning is running.
    • More time???
      "families would have more summer vacation time together" - I do not see how. The required number of days in school would be the same. It simply shifts the end date of school into June, cutting into the beginning of summer, instead of the end.

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