LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Is there a need for a uniform policy on public school summer breaks?


State Rep. Steve Hurst announced his plan to introduce a constitutional amendment this legislative session to establish a uniform schedule for public school summer breaks statewide.  As planned, public schools would operate for Labor Day (the first Monday of September) through Memorial Day (May 30). The plan has merit and should be considered.

As to be expected, there’s opposition to this plan primarily from the Alabama Association of School Boards and school administrators statewide. One superintendent of a larger school district was quoted in the media as saying such a plan would disrupt their Fall and Spring breaks already in place because they were implemented to coincide with the Talladega race event. What? I cannot think of a more absurd reason to oppose this plan. A Calhoun County official perhaps summed up opposition best: "(... if you look closely) at the reasons opponents are expressing, it is about personal selfish reasons."

Agreed, there is probably going to be some adjustment of existing breaks and holidays, even though the plan would make slight adjustment in the length of the school day to compensate.  Isn't it time that we take a long hard look at the amount of "closed days" we already have for schools? Some school systems announced this week of plans to extend the Thanksgiving holiday to a full week.

We all enjoy and look forward to time off, yet at the same time, we must keep in focus that the only reason for public schools is to benefit the children — the only reason. Keep in mind, Hurst is proposing that people vote on the issue — he is not attempting to force this on the people without their approval. 

Please support Steve Hurst's legislation.

James W. Anderson