Governor Phil Bryant has signed a new bill that pushes back the start date for public schools in Mississippi.
Starting in 2014, the new bill will require districts to wait until the third Monday in August before beginning the school year. Lawmakers say they hope the change will help boost tourism revenue in the state. Local school officials say they are not exactly sure yet how the switch will impact the overall school year. Meanwhile, parents have mixed feelings.
"The summer is actually very short for the children, it's only two months," Anita Wansley says. "They have to start in early August and it's extremely hot. I think my family would actually welcome a couple of extra weeks in the summer."
It's shocking to hear," Amanda Faison says. "I just want to know if it's going to cut into their learning time and as far as is it going to be shorter breaks, longer breaks."
"We can make it work, adjusting holidays or even if he had to," Lauderdale County School District Superintendent Dr. Randy Hodges says. "And this isn't what we would want to do is to have to test after Christmas break."
Experts say the later start could mean $100 million in revenue for the state of Mississippi.