Knox County parents fight for longer summers

Knoxville (WVLT) - There's a grassroots effort by several moms in Knoxville to convince Tennessee legislators to set a mandatory school start date so the summers don't get any shorter.

Tuesday, a Knox County mom of three testified before the education sub committee in Nashville. She tells Volunteer TV she's hopeful, but uncertain if the bill will pass.

Summers in East Tennessee get shorter and shorter for students. Back in 1995, they started August 21st, next year they're scheduled to begin about 2 weeks earlier.

"All of this has been done without any parental input no community involvement," parent Amy Olsen said.

Amy Olsen, along with statewide parent and teacher support, lobbied legislators to make August 15th the first day back for all schools in the state. She took her message to Nashville.

"I was excited today and honored to go talk to representatives and share experiences," Olsen said.

She told lawmakers starting later in August would be better on parents, it would lower the energy bills in school, and it would make kids more eager to learn.

"Kids need a break from school long enough where they're bored and ready to go back because they need to be excited," Olsen said.

Olsen says the bill would give every student in the state the same number of instruction days before standardized tests. Right now each school districts start date is different.

"Now we're hoping subcommittee will listen and do what's right for the children," Olsen said.

She's hopeful the bill will pass, but she's skeptical after seeing the politics of Nashville.

"It's government it's political people are trying to do favors for other people it's not always about what's best for children," Olsen said.

But she's keeping her fingers crossed the subcommittee will pass the bill in two weeks when they vote.

If the subcommittee passes the bill, the full education committee votes. If it passes, the bill goes to the floor for a vote.

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  • by Tired Location: Knoxville on Mar 19, 2008 at 09:34 PM
    "All of this has been done without any parental input no community involvement." That is correct! The school board runs on it's own agenda and could care less about what the parents (whose tax $$$ supports Knox schools) and public wants!
  • by Cathy Location: Knoxville on Mar 19, 2008 at 02:17 PM
    See the new survey at 71% of Tennessee citizens support a later school start date. In addition, according to a recent UT study, early August school start dates mean up to $450 million in loss of tourism dollars to our state. (That means tax dollars not supporting our teachers and students).
  • by Lucy Location: Knoxville on Mar 19, 2008 at 02:01 PM
    I have not had the same experience in regards to fall break. Most parents i know complain about it. It's just another break that makes working parents search for child care, and so many folks can't leave town because their children's other activities continue, i.e. ballet, football, baseball, music, art lessons. The only thing that stops is school. Then you've got to get them rolling again in a week back into the early morning regiment. UGH! It's a shame parents weren't asked whether they wanted a fall break or not, in my area it would have been a loud NO!
  • by Laurie Alford Location: Knox County on Mar 19, 2008 at 01:56 PM
    There are more good reasons to start later than I can list. We won't lose fall break - we can make up that week at the end of the year. I am proud of all who are working on this effort!
  • by Sherry Location: Knoxville on Mar 18, 2008 at 11:41 PM
    A fall break when weather is nice and crowds are down is much better for kids than a longer summer.Kids need breaks throughout the year. My daughter is bored now at the end of summer vacation. It is too hot outside to really enjoy doing things outside. Every parent I have talked to feels the same way.
  • by connie dennison Location: knox co. on Mar 18, 2008 at 10:40 PM
    i think schools should start back later do to hot weather and no air for some kids


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