Alabama lawmaker pushes for longer summers while school officials push back

Alabama News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Some Birmingham teachers and staff are prying for more information after a proposed new school calendar for schools in Alabama went viral on social media, posted by Huntsville City Schools requiring longer summer vacations that could lead to longer school days by two hours.

Rep. Steven Hurst, R-Huntsville, plans to sponsor some sort of legislation mandating summer break run from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But he calls the idea of going to school until 5 p.m. asinine.

“I would never want children to go to school for eight hours,” Hurst said.

Hurst said that there is no current proposal to extend the school day by two hours. Hurst said the draft promotes Gov. Kay Ivey “Work Initiative” for students.

CBS 42 got a copy of the draft that states:

“We’re hurting these kids, and they can’t get an opportunity to learn a trade without going to a trade school somewhere. They can’t learn a trade in summer months when (they’re) trying to help mom and dad make a little money. If they can work a bit in the summer, it’ll do two things. They’ll learn work ethic and they learn discipline.”

Currently, the school year runs anywhere from 174 days to 180 days among Alabama’s school districts.

“How can they work, be in school for a long period of time, and then have an extended school year,” Center Point High School Principal Van Phillips said. “When would they have the time to work?”

Hurst said he met with Eric Mackey, the superintendent of the Alabama State Department of Education, in Montgomery Thursday and plans to meet with Mackey again next week. Hurst said another draft with revisions will likely come soon.


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