(Raleigh News Observer) North Carolina’s 1.5 million public school students could sit in classrooms for longer but fewer days in a new twist to the long-running debate between improving education and protecting summer vacation as the tourism industry wants.
Changes adopted by the General Assembly in the final hours of the two-year legislative session that ended Tuesday would give the state’s 115 school districts the ability to set yearly schedules that meet for 185 classroom days or 1,025 hours beginning in 2013. Schools previously had to meet minimums of both the number of hours and the number of days. Nearly every school district was allowed to postpone expanding the 180-day academic year until 2013-14 after complaints that lawmakers didn’t provide the money needed to run buses or heat classrooms.
The either-or option means that school districts operating 6 1/2-hour school days could wrap up future years after 158 days, said Leanne Winner of the North Carolina School Boards Association, which opposed the changes.
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