The Mobile County school board unanimously approved a resolution opposing a proposal by the Alabama Legislature to dictate that schools start after Labor Day and end by Memorial Day. The announcement was made Tuesday.
Mobile County Public School System officials say, "because schools are required to be in session 180 days, or 1,080 hours per year, the legislation would eliminate several holidays and breaks during and may require school to be in session longer each day."
Below is the resolution in its entirety:
Resolution of the Mobile County Board of Education
Opposing School Start Date Legislation
BE IT RESOLVED by the Mobile County Board of Education, an agency of the State of Alabama ("Board"), in regular meeting assembled as follows
WHEREAS, the Board is aware that members of the Alabama Legislature may consider legislation that would outline school start and/or end dates for public schools in the state of Alabama;
WHEREAS, each local board of education already is required by Alabama Code §16-8-30 to set a uniform start date for all schools within its system, thereby recognizing that school calendars are local decisions;
WHEREAS, unique decisions take place in 137 Alabama school systems regarding student achievement, holiday preferences, community events, teacher professional development, partnerships with local colleges and universities, and workdays for educators to meet with parents;
WHEREAS, the Board is charged with making decisions that are in the best interest of its students,employees, and most importantly student achievement;
WHEREAS, the Board is held accountable for student achievement not only by the community, but under both state and federal accountability programs;
WHEREAS, local decisions about school calendar directly impact student performance, student and faculty morale, and the livelihood of the community at large;
WHEREAS, a statewide school start date and elimination of school breaks and/or holidays throughout the school year would compromise the Board's academic calendar and force students to lose instructional time prior to standardized testing;
WHEREAS, the Board's academic calendar is an education priority and not a business or tourism decision; and
WHEREAS, the education community urges policymakers to adhere to current Alabama law and leave school calendar decisions in the hands of local boards of education, whose representatives are elected and expected to represent the best interests of students, employees, parents and the local community at large, to ensure that schools are operated to the highest standards to ensure student success;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the Mobile County Board of Education unanimously oppose statewide efforts to mandate a school calendar and ask all lawmakers representing Mobile County to vote against any bill which proposes to outline a statewide start and/or end date for Alabama public schools.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be recorded in the board minutes and provided to the Alabama Association of School Boards, each member of its Legislative delegation and the Governor.
The Mobile County Board of Education hereby ratifies and confirms all that the Superintendent shall do in thepremises.
DONE this 17thday of February, 2020.