State lawmakers need to hear from educators before voting on a new school start date

Today, our students, teachers and communities are evaluated under the most rigorous standards ever set forth in the state of Mississippi. Yet proposed legislation will move the school start date until after September 1st, taking away weeks of instruction before state testing.

While there is speculation it could improve the state's economy, no one has taken into consideration how this will impact public school education. A later start date will affect early graduation for seniors, advanced diplomas, dual enrollment, school schedules, athletic calendar, vocational programs, testing, course selection and decrease holidays. There is pressure to create workforce development, and graduate students at a higher rate than ever before.

Mandates such as a start date of after September 1st eliminates the flexibility needed in schools to meet the rigorous mandates placed on teachers and students by our government. School calendars are also planned six months in advance for the upcoming school year. This calendar is the result of faculty, parents, colleges, Head Start, local industry and the school board to best meet the needs of our local community.

If legislators want to make this drastic change in our school calendar, then educators must be given the opportunity to fully explain the impact this decision will have on the children and the teachers of this state.

Guest Editorial By:
Wayne Rodolfich
Pascagoula Schools Superintendent

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