Mississippi could push back first day of school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi could push back first day of school

For some parents it seems like school starts earlier every year, but that could soon change for public schools in Mississippi. For some parents it seems like school starts earlier every year, but that could soon change for public schools in Mississippi.

(WMC-TV) - For some parents it seems like school starts earlier every year, but that could soon change for public schools in Mississippi.

A measure moving through the legislature would require schools to start on the third Monday in August or later.

Students are always ready for the last day of school, but a new bill to push back the first day of school could force an end to spring break or delay summer days by the pool starting in 2013.

"We will lose about 14 to 16 holidays that we have now or we'll have to go over in June till the 2nd or 3rd week of June," said DeSoto County Schools Superintendent Milton Kuykendall.

Kuykendall said the district is in the process of polling their teachers to see which option they'd prefer.

"I like to give my teachers a voice and we have about 2100 teachers and their surveys won't be back to me until Friday," Kuykendall said.

But what do parents think?

"Kids need to be in school instead of being in vacation so much during the year," said Mary Gossett.

Other parents like Brittney Baker didn't like the idea of a change.

"I like it starting where it is now," Baker continued. "I feel like May and June and July is a good time for vacation during the summer."

Supporters of the bill argue that a later start date would allow families to take vacations at the end of their summer, hopefully providing a boost to the economy.

"I think it would help with parents scheduling vacations and that and not having to worry about shortening it down," said Norman Sizemore.

In teacher surveys, DeSoto County is asking if they would rather do away some holidays like Fall and Spring breaks, Election Day, and the Monday after Easter, or if they would rather keep children until the 2nd or 3rd week in June.

Kuykendall said research suggests children do better with less time in between breaks, but the district will support whatever is passed.

"The longer time they're gone the less they retain it makes starting next year harder for the teachers to get them back up to where they are when they left," Kuykendall said.

The issue is going before the House of Representatives and there are still a couple of weeks left in this legislative session until a decision has to be made.

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