OUR VIEW: Setting school calendars should be left on local level

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2007

Earlier this week, the City of Linden Board of Education passed a resolution that states the board is opposed to a state specified school year start date and mandatory statewide school calendar. The resolution came in response to proposed legislation, which would take the decision of school year calendars away from system school boards and place it in the hands of the state government. The Alabama Association of School Boards has sent out a call to school boards to join together against the proposed statewide calendar. It has asked all school boards that are against the legislation that has yet gone before the state legislature to file a petition against such move. The board unanimously passed a resolution to send a petition against the proposed mandation.

Opponents of the mandated school calendar and set start date argue that each school system has vastly different needs and that one school-start date does not fit all.

Proponents’ reason that it is also important to remember the state pays the largest portion of the education tab and thus should ensure non-instructional costs are kept to a minimum. This, will ensure the bulk of taxpayer dollars go towards educational programming, classroom supplies and teacher salaries

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It is pertinent to leave the control of the district in the elected officials hands. They have been chosen by their constituents to represent them accordingly and have been trusted to make the best decisions regarding their children’s education.

With that said, it is feasible that over an extended period of time the purposes of the mandated school calendar could show to be economically beneficial. Until this long-term purpose can be clearly revealed, the deciding power of the school’s calendar and things of the like should be left to the local leaders.