by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
In “Several School Systems Rebel Against NC Calendar Law By Opening Early,” Ann Doss Helms has the scoop.
North Carolina’s school calendar law mandates that public schools open “no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26.”
Yet public schools in Iredell County opened last week. After years of grousing about the calendar law, Mooresville and Iredell-Statesville schools and a handful of other districts near Charlotte have decided not to obey it.
For years, I have been part of a group called L.O.C.A.L., a coalition of groups that champion calendar flexibility for school districts. It is one of a handful of policy areas that bring together groups on both sides of the aisle, e.g., N.C. Association of Educators, N.C. Justice Center, the John Locke Foundation, and FreedomWorks.
That said, I believe in changing the law, not ignoring it. Mooresville, Iredell-Statesville, and other districts that choose to ignore the law do more harm to the cause than good. Because of these districts, members of the General Assembly who have been hesistant to make changes to the school calendar law have another reason to oppose it.