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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Schools should have power to establish own calendars

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One of the items on the Franklin County School Board's list of legislative goals is the repeal of the requirement for school systems to start after Labor Day. If a system wants to start earlier, and many do, a special request must be submitted and approved each year.

School board members here and in many jurisdictions across the state want localities to decide which school calendar fits the needs of their students and residents. We certainly agree, and the state should finally allow them that freedom to choose.

This is especially true for systems in the western part of the state, where inclement weather is likely to play havoc on schedules. Starting school before Labor Day allows schools to "build in" some days just in case many days are missed because of the weather.

The state already has in place almost countless requirements for localities, from courses to the number of class days to testing. As long as school divisions meet those criteria that all agree are needed, why should they not be able to create their own calendars?

We urge legislators to revisit this requirement, and after many years of inaction, repeal it once and for all.

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