School Calendar

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Summer break might be a little longer next year. State lawmakers are deciding on a new school calendar in March, but the debate is heating up the local level on whether it's a good idea or not.

Jackson County Superintendent Danny Sims will probably be taking his que from Tallahassee for the next school year.

“We'll do what we need to do as far as the legislation goes and start when they ask us to.”

State lawmakers will begin debating a school calendar bill next month. The proposed calendar will push Jackson County and the rest of the state to starting school around labor day.

Supporters of the bill point out that the later start date will allow families more time for summer vacations and teens more time for summer jobs. It will also allow Florida businesses to extend the tourism season, but will it work for everyone?

Danny Sims, Jackson County School Superintendent, says, “All the districts in the state of Florida are not the same. We have very different needs in different parts of the state in diverse state. Personally, I feel and I think the school board feels that this is a local control issue.”

Many parents share Sims’ opinion.

Evan McAllister says, “I don't feel that the state has a right to come in and tell us that we need to start on a specific day and end on a specific day, and Miami needs to do the same.”

Jerimiah Blount adds, “A lot of people in the state, they're not in the area you're in. A lot of people in the county know what's going on in the area they live, so I don't like them imposing on us.”

The new schedule will also overlap semesters with Chipola College and dual enrolled students would have to get creative with their time.

“It will be real difficult to work out for those dual enrolled students. If there's not enough time to end that semester prior to Christmas.”

For now Sims is taking a wait a see approach.

Chipola College officials were not available to comment on camera, but did say that dual enrollment is possible when the schools have an overlapping schedule.