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School calendar debate resurfaces as LAUSD board considers post-Labor Day school start




Senior Christophe Saucier sits in class at North Hollywood High School on Thursday, April 30, 2015. Today, the LAUSD school board will vote on a proposal that could move the start of classes to after Labor Day.
Senior Christophe Saucier sits in class at North Hollywood High School on Thursday, April 30, 2015. Today, the LAUSD school board will vote on a proposal that could move the start of classes to after Labor Day.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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When should the school year start for kids in public K-12 schools?

Traditionally, the answer has been after Labor Day in September. But in recent years, the academic year for districts around the state is starting earlier and earlier.

Students at Los Angeles Unified Schools started up this past Tuesday, but if a resolution being taken up at the LAUSD board meeting today passes, kids could be looking at an extra couple weeks of vacation.

Three LAUSD board members have introduced a proposal (page 16) that would push the start of the school year to an “unspecified date after Labor Day.” They need to find just one more vote to push them into the majority on the seven-member board

Proponents argue that the earlier start means students can’t spend much-needed time outside for physical activity due to the heat, and the costs incurred by having to run air conditioning in schools during August are too high to justify. They also say it cuts summer travel short for families and faculty who go away in August.

Critics say a later start means students don’t have as long of a winter break since they haven’t finished their instructional calendar and end up having to come back earlier in January to take finals.

What’s your take on LAUSD’s proposal to start school post-Labor Day? Do you think a later stat helps or hinders students and faculty? What have other districts seen as advantages and disadvantages as they have moved their start dates earlier?

Guests:

Sara Roos, a LAUSD parent

Alex Rojas, superintendent of the Bassett Unified School District, which is located in the San Gabriel Valley; serves some unincorporated parts of L.A. County and portions of the City of Industry, La Puente, and Whittier