House Considers Later School Start

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Mississippi lawmakers are considering whether school districts should be banned from starting the academic year before Sept. 1.

That proposed mandate passed the House 65-54 Monday, but the bill containing the provision was held for the possibility of more debate.

House Tourism Committee Chairwoman Diane Peranich of Pass Christian says coastal attractions have lost business because many districts start school in early August.

The state requires 180 days of instruction and seven days of staff development each academic year.

House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown of Jackson says the School Boards Association and the Superintendents Association oppose a mandated later starting date.


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  • by Teacher and Parent Location: Meridian on Feb 12, 2010 at 04:13 AM
    are, if they got enough sleep last night, if they have eaten breakfast, do they have a coat in the winter, who our administrators are, what policies they uphold, and a multitude of other issues. All of THESE items, not start and end dates, are what drive instruction in the classroom. If you have a class that comes from a positive environment and you know how to manage your class and your time, the students will be successful. If your children are hungry, cold, and don't have any support, or if you don't get any support from your supervisors, it is much more difficult to get your job done. Perhaps the real issue here is that some parents in this area do not understand the importance of education (because in some way the "system" has sadly failed them), so they don't support their child's education. We should find some way to reach out and teach them as well as their children. God bless all children, parents, teachers, and administrators at MPSD. I pray we can learn to work together!
  • by Teacher and Parent Location: Meridian on Feb 12, 2010 at 04:01 AM
    I have been reading the progression of this conversation. It seems that there are a lot a misunderstandings and misinterpretations. I don't understand how the issue of late-starting schools and ignited so much sarcasm. I am a teacher. I honestly don't care when they decide to start school. August, September, it's really all the same. Teacher's don't bring home a huge paycheck, but considering the amount of days we are physically at work a year, I don't think we have too much to complain about. The real issue is this: It doesn't matter how many days we go to school a year, how many holidays we have, when we start, or when we get out. What matters is how well our children are educated. This depends on so much. Some things we can control: our classroom environment, our attitude, our teaching strategies, the amount of time we spend planning, and the amount of money we are willing to put into the resources that we need. The others we can't: where our children live, what their experiences
  • by Amazed Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2010 at 09:33 AM
    I remember being in middle school at Magnolia with no air conditioning. Heck, I remember being at Meridian High with no air conditioning. School started at 8 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m..Mid August was for preparing for extra-curriculars such as football and band, and the school year didn't begin until the day after Labor Day. My graduation date was June 2, and as seniors we were released two weeks early. In the fall, the first break we got was for Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year's was the traditional two weeks long, then we got a day for Easter and a week for Spring Break. There was no "Fall Break". I agree dealing with kids with discipline problems would be enough to drive anyone crazy. I wish teachers' hands could be untied to allow them to discipline these kids without fear of some no-good parent threatening to sue. Too much time is wasted on dealing with discipline problems and teaching standardized test-taking. Kids need a well rounded education, and teachers need higher pay.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 11, 2010 at 07:47 AM
    fact is preschool was to do all this the system failed all over.. now they want kids to start @ age of 2 more money for trash...
  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2010 at 01:05 PM
    way to go TEACHER.. you said it! this is exactly why i homeschool my daughter. i choose to keep the government out of my childs education. this way we can pray say the pledge and not worry about lord forbid "offending" someone.
  • by Teacher Location: Meridian on Feb 10, 2010 at 12:27 PM
    First off, parents need to realize that schools and teachers need support and help from them. Teachers cannot do it all, and many parents simply consider schools a babysitting service that feeds and keeps their child for 8 hours a day. Learning starts at home and many Kindergarteners come to school not even knowing the basic ABC song. Teachers are blamed when the child does not succeed. When is the parent held responsible? What the focus needs to be here is educating these kids that need and deserve it, not the holidays or when we start and end the school year!
  • by Parent Location: Meridian on Feb 10, 2010 at 09:58 AM
    Students do have too many days off during the school year. Parents of small children have to arrange for child care for these random "holdays". Additionally, everytime students are out for holidays the students loose focus. For the teacher who says it's not the "average job". I couldn't agree more. Teaching isn't a job, it's an opportunity, an opportunity to possitively impact childrens lives. Draining, yes it is, but so are many jobs. Being a cashier at Wal-Mart during Christmas is stressful, being a bank teller is stressful-especially if you've ever been robbed,working construction on the interstate with semi's rushing by you, all stressful. So, many people have stressful jobs and they don't get these random "holidays". Don't misunderstand,I have the most respect for the hardworking teachers out there. Let's cut back on some of the excessive holidays, go to school all day on Wed., start mid/late August and finish at the end of May.
  • by ? on Feb 10, 2010 at 08:51 AM
    someone parents woulf support this because they look at the school system as a babysitter not a place for education. they could care less about good grades or if their children suceed. NOT ALL PARENTS ARE THIS WAY! but believe me , when you teach you see it everyday. just because the coast is losing business is no reason to change the date on when to start the school year. parents just remember when your children are in school its the teachers who are dealing with them everyday... teachers are entitled to a break as well.
  • by Teacher Location: Meridian on Feb 10, 2010 at 07:40 AM
    The biggest problem with moving the starting date later will be having less time to prepare students for the MCT2. It is already a ton of stuff to cover before May, but if we start later, they will have to move the testing time to June.
  • by Teacher Location: MS. on Feb 10, 2010 at 07:36 AM
    To: Concerned parent, To, Two Or Two?? Seems you can make a mistake, also. Maybe you need to get a 1st grader to proof read your comments, before you hit the send button!! IDIOT!!!
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