Here is an excerpt of the AJC news story:
Our goal is to determine if a later start date is feasible," said Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega. School calendars proved contentious in some metro Atlanta districts, including Cobb and DeKalb counties, earlier this decade. Many have adopted so-called "balanced" calendars featuring shorter summer breaks, with additional brief breaks sprinkled throughout the school year.
One goal in Georgia was to reduce the summer "slide" effect, as the long break led too many children to forget what they'd just learned, starting the fall semester behind where they'd been in the spring.
But summer is also an important time for the state's tourism industry, with its half a million jobs and its $61 billion estimated "economic impact," notes Senate Resolution 1068, of which Gooch was the chief co-sponsor. "Whereas, the summer travel season is a prime revenue generator for the industry," the industry employs students and "varied school start dates affect both employment and visitation opportunities," says the resolution adopted during this year's legislative session.
Over the years in Georgia, the tourism industry and parents nostalgic for longer summers have advocated for a vacation break that encompasses August. Most Georgia schools now close for the summer in late May and reopen in early August.
Many transplants say their nieces and nephews up north are in school until mid-June and don’t go back until after Labor Day, making it hard to align family trips.
But lawmakers in Georgia have deferred to school boards and superintendents who contend calendars should remain their bailiwick.
No so in North Carolina where the Legislature agreed with the tourism industry that kids returning to classrooms in early August hurt the economy and passed a school calendar law stating schools can start no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26 and end no later than the Friday closest to June 11. (Charter schools and year-round schools are exempted from the law.)
I grew up going back to school after Labor Day and think August is a perfect beach month. But this is a decision best left to local districts. Why are lawmakers better suited to determine the academic calendar?
Nor do I think business interests should influence the school calendar. Schools should be organized around what produces the best outcomes for students.