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Earlier school start drawing some opposition

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North Carolina students may get the summer vacations cut short. A bill at the state level may allow public schools to start the academic year two weeks earlier in August.

A commerce committee voted in favor of allowing schools to start the academic year as early as August 8th. Back in 2004, lawmakers pushed start times back to August 25th, which was a positive for the tourism industry. It allowed families to vacation longer during the summer months, and it allowed high school students to work at summer jobs in the tourism industry.

School officials argue that starting school earlier in August would help with exam schedules for students, but the bill has plenty of opposition. “There are a thousand reasons why. It has to do with families being together. It has to do with southeastern North Carolina, our county builds schools on sales tax so the very entity we are trying to help is the very entity fighting against extending the season so we can raise that money,” said Representative Carolyn Justice, 16th District.

Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden said, “We got to have people here to spend money and enjoy the beach and our entire coast. Not just the beach but the mountains and all of our state as tourism is such a big factor in our economy.”

The bill goes to the House floor for a vote this week. Even if it passes, it will still be up to county school boards to decide their own school calendar. This would just give them the option to start sooner.

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Story summary

North Carolina students may get the summer vacations cut short. School officials argue that starting school earlier in August would help with exam schedules for students, but the bill has plenty of opposition.

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Associated poll

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