What is the economic impact of earlier school start dates in our state?
Early start dates in South Carolina have wreaked havoc on the state's number one industry...tourism. A report by the Uniform School Start Date Task Force in 2002 (read report) commissioned by the SC Department of Education, conservatively estimated that South Carolina was losing $180 million annually due to earlier school start dates. Early end dates did not make up for the deficits in accrued August. In addition, they estimated about $8.3 million in lost tax revenues as a result. Furthermore, it was discovered that utility costs usually peak in August, adding to the financial burden. Returning these lost revenues to the coffers could benefit our state, as well as our education system.
Other states have seen significant savings from adopting later start dates. Studies in Texas and North Carolina have found early school start dates cost their economies hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Tulsa, Oklahoma public schools moved school start date from August 19 to the day after Labor Day and saved approximately $500,000 through reduced utility costs alone. When local school systems increase their operating efficiency, the savings become available for teacher salaries, classroom supplies and educational programming. It is unfair to allow the burden to continue to fall on taxpayers shoulders when something as simple as a later school start could increase revenues without raising taxes.
More questions & answers...
When will first semester exams be scheduled under the new law?
I've heard that the passage of this law is really about tourism interests. Is this true?
Why shouldn't our local school boards be able to make all school calendar decisions?
Is Save SC Summers a special interest group?
How will a later start affect our children's education and state accountability testing?
Are other states experiencing similar problems with early start dates?
Why are school leaders so opposed to this legislation, if it is what parents want?
Does the new law merely shift the school year?
How can I help protect this law?