Making It Fit

1 decade 3 months 6 days ago February 19, 2007 Feb 19, 2007 Monday, February 19 2007 Monday, February 19, 2007 6:03:54 PM CST in News
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"For everyday we start school before Labor Day we lose $1.1 million in revenue. That's just the tax revenue lost...That's a lot of money," Goodman explained.

Goodman is sponsoring a bill that would force districts to begin the school year within 10 days of Labor Day.

"The heat of May isn't as bad as the heat of August. They start school ridiculously early then adjourn school halfway through the school day and bus the kids back home teachers and students will tell you the time spent for a half day was not productive because it's too hot to concentrate," Goodman said.

Two blocks away from the state capitol at the Missouri School Boards Association, the issue isn't anything new. Brent Ghan says state control isn't needed.

"There are many factors that come into play and we just have different circumstances around the state and that's why the decision should remain local in our view," Ghan, of the Missouri School Boards Association, said.

Goodman supports local control to a point.

"I think with local control when you start to see a problem with it across the state because of poor decisions being made locally it's time for the state to take some action and put a check on it," Goodman said.

Goodman said his bill doesn't jeopardize legitimate local control. Fulton Superintendent Mark Enderle defends the Fulton School Board for knowing what's best.

"I would think this is a local control issue. I think the Fulton School Board is fully capable of when we need to start and stop school thank you very much," Enderle said.

Heat is a concern for some schools in August, but all Fulton classrooms have air conditioning. Enderle says by starting in mid-August it balances the entire school year.

"You either are going to have a very short semester and that short changes the students or you take a final that second week of January, which is by any stretch not educationally sound to have a class that after a week and a half break come back and do finals," Enderle explained.

Enderle says another factor is the MAP test taken in the spring. Missouri educators prefer more days in the classroom before the test, not afterwards. Goodman says he sponsored the bill because it would boost Missouri's tourism around the Labor Day weekend, teenage workers would stay on the job for that busy Labor Day weekend, and most parents don't like their kids starting school that early.

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