Schools Get Waivers From Longer Year
Most North Carolina school districts will not have to add five days to their upcoming school year. It's the second year that waivers have been granted from an extension mandated by the General Assembly. The State School Board authorized the waivers. Ninety-one of the state's 115 school districts have gotten them so far. Board Chairman Bill Harrison says teachers need those five days to prepare for new national curriculum standards. Plus, he says it would cost $14 million system-wide. State Senator Jerry Tillman is a major proponent of the school year extension.
Jerry Tillman: I agree that we need to find that money. We don't need to lay that on the backs of the school systems. So I am okay with whatever we do with flexibility and waivers until we've got that cleared up. That's why I like the additional minutes better than the days. You don't have to spend any more money for running buses if you start 15 minutes earlier every day.
Tillman says when lawmakers reconvene in May, they'll look at tweaking the extension mandate. He wants to accommodate schools' needs while still increasing instructional time.