I've heard that the passage of this law is really about tourism interests. Is this true?
Prior to 2005, the tourism industry made several attempts at legislation to curtail the creeping school year. Their efforts in the General Assembly were unsuccessful due mainly to the success of state education leaders and their lobbyists in convincing legislators to choose "education over economics."
Then in 2005, several parents from different parts of the state joined together to form Save SC Summers. The founders were parents with a united purpose: to regain summers for their families. Family time was at the heart of their campaign and they knew that other parents across the state felt the same. Through the website and e-mail campaigns, SSCS was successful in building its numbers to over 5000 members in less than two years. Legislators began to pay attention. Parents and teachers from around the state wrote letters and e-mails and called their legislators to ask for help with school start dates. Their frustration and ineffectiveness locally to change the "status quo" was the primary reason state legislation was necessary.
The Save SC Summers story is not one of money, power, and politics. To attribute passage of this law to those factors alone is to ignore the unique nature of what really happened.
Yes, eventually it took the efforts of many groups, for various reasons, uniting under a common goal to get a new law passed. The role of each should never be downplayed. But the uniqueness of what transpired lies within the hearts and souls of ordinary folks across our state. All racial, social, political, economic, lifestyle, and gender biases were put aside as citizens from all walks of life joined together to "do the impossible." They kept legislators busy reading letters filled with personal concerns and well-researched facts. Against all odds, they volunteered time and money to keep a bill alive in the face of harsh opposition by state education leaders and lobbyists.
More questions & answers...
When will first semester exams be scheduled under the new law?
What is the economic impact of earlier school start dates on our state?
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?