Lawmaker wants to revive local control of school calendar

Lawmaker wants to revive local control of school calendar

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

One state lawmaker wants to change the school calendar again, but this time put local school systems back in control.

Rep. Paul DeMarco (Homewood) says he's proposing this bill to give school systems more flexibility.

It was just last year that the legislature mandated that schools begin no earlier than two weeks before Labor Day and end no later than the Friday before Memorial Day. DeMarco says he and his constituents were never fans of this calendar.

"As soon as the law was passed last year, parents and teachers and administrators and school board members [asked] when you going to change it back?" he said.

The mandated calendar was put in place to help boost Alabama tourism. DeMarco says he thinks that industry is still important but at the same time school systems have to be given the flexibility they need.

"Basically it gets each community to decide what's best for their school system," DeMarco said.

That's music to the ears of Hoover resident Shannon Trotter.

"I think that's a great idea. I think our educators know more about children than our legislators do at this point," said Trotter.

Trotter has children who attend Hoover city schools. Because of the current calendar restrictions, school leaders recently proposed a plan to keep students in class the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving. In the past, students had enjoyed the entire week off.

However, under DeMarco's plan, Hoover and any other system could cater the calendar to their needs.

"This is regarding the calendar of schools, so the number one priority should be students, everything else should be secondary," said DeMarco.

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