Some school districts in the state want to start their school year earlier in August so they can end their first semester before Christmas.
The State newspaper reports a state Senate subcommittee approved a bill allowing schools to start August 15 instead of the third Monday in August. The bill’s next stop is the full Education Committee.
South Carolina pushed back its start date for K-12 schools in 2006, after coastal school districts argued the later date would give families more time for vacations and teens more time to spend in their seasonal jobs.
However, many districts said they would prefer the original date, since the current schedule means the required 90-day fall semester does not actually end until several days into January. The South Carolina Association of School Administrators supports an earlier start to help get the required class days in before the Christmas break.
Some critics of the bill noted that the calendar gives school districts the opportunity to start Aug. 15 this year, but few have chosen to do so. State Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Horry, threatened to block the bill on the Senate floor if lawmakers set the earlier start date.