Tennessee Parents Support Legislation for Statewide School Calendar

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Some parents are building support for legislation that would ban Tennessee public schools from opening earlier than the week before Labor Day after a summer of sweltering classrooms and heat-exhausted athletes.

But they face opposition from most of the statewide education organizations, which want to retain flexibility for local school boards to set their own school calendars.

A special House-Senate committee studying school-year issues held its first hearing last Friday.

The Tennessee School Boards Association, the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents, the Tennessee Education Association, which represents teachers, and the State Board of Education expressed support for leaving the calendar up to local boards.

Parents from Knoxville, Clarksville, Franklin and elsewhere organized under the banner "Save Our Tennessee Summers," wants the Legislature to block schools from opening earlier than the week prior to Labor Day and from closing later than the week after Memorial Day.

A bill with those parameters failed last year. The committee is to deliver its recommendations by February 1st.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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