Georgia Sen. Steve Gooch, (R-Dahlonega) is calling for the state school systems to delay the start of the new school year until after Labor Day in future and a Senate Study Committee is now evaluating the Georgia Public Schools annual calendar.
“As we celebrate Labor Day each year as the unofficial end of summer, most of our public schools have been back in full swing for nearly a month,” Gooch said in a statement. “Additionally, August is typically the hottest time of year when energy bills reach their peak and student athletes’ safety is a big concern. “I believe that for these reasons and others, it is a good time to take a look at how we compare to other states who still utilize a more traditional school calendar with their start dates after Labor Day.”
With a study committee generated, it is possible that a bill could be filed in the 2019 Georgia General Assembly that could prohibit public school systems from beginning the new school year before the first Monday in September. Gooch has already announced his nomination to the chair of the committee and he is expected to be joined by 10 other members which would include the chairmen of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism, Education and Youth and Appropriations committees.
Gooch said the committee will listen to stakeholders and determine how delaying the start of the school year by about a month would impact districts. When Labor Day rolled around this year, Walton County Public Schools and Social Circle City Schools had already been back in classrooms for more than a month with Aug. 1 being the first day of the 2018-2019 school year. Gwinnett County Public Schools returned to the classrooms on Aug. 6.
“Our goal is to determine if a later start date is feasible and if it would provide additional opportunities for families to take a vacation together while increasing the availability of summer workers for our booming travel and hospitality industries,” Gooch said in his statement.“ We will review these possibilities while also ensuring that there will be no disruption to the education of our children.”
So what do you think? Should students return to the classrooms before or after Labor Day?