Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - August 16, 2007

New school calendar is pointless change

A recent story praised the longer summer break now occurring for South Carolina public school students. The story seemed to omit one key fact about the "longer summer break" notion. It is temporary and will apply only to the summer of 2007.

The changes to the school year calendar did not, in fact, create a permanent, longer summer break for South Carolina public school students. It simply shifted the start and stop dates while leaving intact the same length of vacation. The summer of 2007, being the transition summer, is the only summer to experience a longer time period.

The summer breaks of 2006 and prior were approximately 72 days long, give or take a few days. The summer of 2007 has been in the range of 80 to 85 days, give or take a few days. Looking forward to the end of the 2007-2008 school year around June 5, and a projected start of the 2008-2009 school year around Aug. 20, the summer breaks of 2008 and beyond will again be in the range of 72 days, give or take a few.

Lets be clear on the matter. The state Legislature, spurred by the whining of the coastal area representatives, did not create a permanently lengthened summer break. They simply shifted the start and stop dates for future summer breaks. Under the new guidelines, students will no longer start vacation just before Memorial Day and end vacation in early August. They will now finish a school year in the first week of June and start back to school no sooner than the third Monday of August.

The net result of all this is absolutely nothing, save an appeasement of shortsighted coastal- area legislators. These legislators argued that a longer summer break would benefit the beach-area economies and then blindly blundered forward with what they believed to be a good idea. One wonders from where they gathered their erroneous information and misconceptions before pushing through this pointless legislation.

H.R. Grantham

Fort Mill

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