NEWS! April 1, 2009...Alabama moves closer to passage of state law requiring LATER school start date...READ ABOUT IT HERE
Save SC Summers is a grass roots organization serving parents, students, teachers and others frustrated with early August school start calendars. Beginning school in early August wastes tax dollars and unnecessarily shortens the precious few summers our children have to enjoy. More importantly, early school starts create hardships on teachers, families and students. (more info about why later start dates make sense)
As a result, our humble lobbying efforts were successful in securing the passage of a SCHOOL CALENDAR LAW in 2006. That law applies to the 2007-2008 educational year. (...more info on the law)
While we can take some degree of satisfaction in our success, what we've learned from other states where similar laws have passed is that it takes vigilence to keep them on the books.
UPDATE Aug. 2008
Schools across South Carolina are again heading back to the classroom, but thanks to state legislators, calendar creep is no longer a problem. All public schools are now required to begin their school year no earlier than the third Monday in August. Attempts to circumvent this law have, in most instances, been thwarted.
However, some districts are now pushing for district wide year-round calendars, an agenda that parents in these districts have suspected for years. A state survey of parents, conducted several years ago, shows that less than 30% of South Carolina parents prefer a year-round calendar. Yet, many district superintendents continue to push for it. Beaufort County has now formed a calendar committee to study this issue in the hope of converting its district to one uniform calendar (read article here).
If your district is debating the conversion to a year-round format, you can find good information and counter-arguments here:
A NEW LAW...A LATER START DATE!
In 2005, over 90% of South Carolina's schools began the academic year within the first two weeks of August the earliest starting August 4th. The trend toward earlier starts had schools in other states such as North Carolina and Florida starting classes in late July! We certainly seemed headed in the same direction. Parents, and many teachers, had had enough and decided it was time to take back August for their families (learn more about our history here).
Thanks to the new "school calendar legislation," passed by the General Assembly last year, all South Carolina public schools will begin the 2007 school year no earlier than the third Monday in August (August 20, this year). Most schools will end the first week of June or earlier, depending on their holiday schedules.
Hooray! After two years of hard work by the volunteers of Save SC Summers and the thousands of families, teachers, and businesses across the state who supported the effort, we can finally taste the fruits of our labor. More than half of August has been returned as a summer month for our families. What is most significant about the new law is that it prevents further "calendar creep." We will not see overzealous districts opting for July starts in the future. However, it does exempt schools that operate on a true year-round format, leaving this as an option for those who prefer it.
This summer, families were able to plan August vacations and family gatherings. This wasn't even an option for many in the past few years. Thanks to all of you who supported this effort and volunteered your time. You are truly the heart of Save SC Summers!
You can help us in the following ways:
- Make this site a bookmark or favorite and come back often so you'll be aware of news or evolving issues.
- Tell FIVE friends about our organization/website. That's easy to do with the Email A Friend link on each page.
- Sign up to get our E-News updates.
- Consider a financial contribution to Save SC Summers. We operate on a shoestring while our opposing forces have deep pockets.
- Contact SC legislators to let them know you support the present school calendar law and that you hope they will, too.
- Keep your ears open for any local board/school system shenanigans that might seek to circumvent the law...and let us know if you uncover anything.
- Be a POSITIVE voice LOCALLY in your children's school(s), PTA and other groups.