Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler addressed rumors this week about a proposal to mandate a hard start and end date for all school calendars in Alabama.
According to a legislative report from Christie Strategy Group, State Rep. Steve Hurst (R – Munford) has indicated he intends to introduce legislation this session that would create a window between Labor Day and Memorial Day in which school boards could set their own school calendars. “Importantly, the draft proposal, which has not yet been introduced, also allows systems to lengthen their school days giving them additional flexibility to set their calendar within these parameters,” Christie reported Feb. 7. “Simply put, the bill would prohibit school systems from requiring students to attend class prior to Labor Day or after Memorial Day.”
Not only is Tyler against the proposal, but Christie reported, “the reaction of the Alabama Association of School Boards was visceral and immediate. A call to action in opposition to this proposal went out statewide earlier this week and social media lit up with comments from parents, teachers, administrators, etc. about the heavy hand of Montgomery interfering with local control.”
Just last month, the Baldwin County Board of Education adopted a resolution opposing such a calendar change, “hoping that Montgomery would leave the school calendar issue to the local elected officials at the county and city levels who represent the parents and citizens most directly impacted by these issues,” according to a statement from Tyler, which also addressed other rumors about the length of school days.
“While we remain opposed to this matter, until we receive draft legislation that we can review, we have asked our calendar committee to review how such rumored changes might be implemented,” it read. “We can assure Baldwin County families there is no scenario in which students would be attending school until 4 or 5 p.m.. With so many varying factors, and no legislation to answer questions, we can’t be more specific in what our models have shown but we have no model which would even come close to keeping students in school until 5:30.”
Tyler reiterated that no draft bill has been circulated, but the school board had spoken with legislators “who confirmed such conversations are taking place.”
This school year, students’ first day of classes was more than two weeks before Labor Day, but classes will end the Thursday before Memorial Day.
“I would hope that the legislators from around the state would leave the local school administrators to affix the school calendar instead of trying to apply a ‘one size fits all’ proposal to the state’s school systems,” Tyler said. “Our administration would never let something like this sneak upon us and we have asked our calendar committee to review how we might adjust if the state did implement a mandatory summer break from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We could accomplish this by extending the school day or lessening the number of holidays. We have looked at several options including ones which would reduce school year breaks as well as ones which would preserve all of our existing holidays plus the extended summer. can assure parents that under no circumstances will Baldwin County have children in classrooms until 5 p.m. Concerned parents should contact their legislators to share their concerns as they are debating this issue.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
It looks like you are opening this page from the Facebook App. This article needs to be opened in the browser.
iOS: Tap the three dots in the top right, then tap on "Open in Safari".
Android: Tap the Settings icon (it looks like three horizontal lines), then tap App Settings, then toggle the "Open links externally" setting to On (it should turn from gray to blue).