Lee school year starting sooner?

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Parents in Lee County were stunned and surprised after learning  the school year could suddenly start sooner than expected over the summer.

A new measure,  just approved by Governor Rick Scott allows school districts to begin the school year a week earlier in August.

The school board’s calendar committee met Tuesday night and decided to not change the calendar for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

“There were just some concerns about payroll, around insurance and benefits in addition to some having plans since the calendar had been out since November,” said Jill Castellano with the Teachers Association of Lee County.

The calendar committee will meet again in October to discuss starting the 2016-2017 school year a week earlier in August.

“To start the school year earlier and for the kids to take their final exams on the three half days before they leave for winter holidays, that is just smart,” said parent and teacher Bonnie Margolin.

Many parents sounded off on the WINK News Facebook page, pleading with the district to not change the upcoming school year calendar because of vacation plans already made.
But at last week’s school board meeting, board member Steven Teuber had harsh words for those parents.

“You know what, I don’t care. Change your plans because we are not making decisions based on family plans we are making decisions on what is best educationally for our children,” said Teuber.

The upcoming school year will start on August 24. Students will then go on winter break in December and come back to test on the material learned before the holiday break

“It is a concern because they are going on break, not picking up the books, they are not studying, so it is a concern that when they get back to throw a test at them right away,” said Castellano

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