Later school start date suggested for municipal school districts - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Later school start date suggested for municipal school districts

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BARTLETT, TN -

(WMC-TV) - School has been in session for more than a month, but many of the Shelby County municipalities are already looking ahead to next year when they will form new districts.

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald is proposing a later start date for students. He wants school to begin after Labor Day, but he knows the decision is not up to him.

"This first year we might need every day we can get for getting thing up and running," said Mayor McDonald.

McDonald says the later start date will give everyone 30 extra days to prepare for the changes.

"And that gives them about 30 more days to get everybody hired and in place and ready to go," he said.

School board elections will take place in November. The board will not be sworn in until December, giving them just eight months to start an entirely new district.

Grandparent Peggy Phipps loves the idea of a later start date.

"If it's for the children, if it helps the children, they should be ready in time for Labor Day," she said.

But Phipps admits the idea of the change does not sit well with everyone.

That is something that Mayor McDonald understands, too, because a later start date could also mean a later end date.

"There are certainly some who have their annual trip in June to Florida that are upset about that, others who are working moms that are saying, 'Wait a second, I usually send my kid to a camp that goes from June until August. What am I gonna do about that last couple of weeks? How am I gonna manage that?'" said McDonald.

Possible solutions include eliminating the fall break, or carrying the last day of school into June.

McDonald says he has no say in the final decision. Elected school board members would ultimately come up with the plan and vote on the issue.

As for other municipalities, McDonald says he spoke with other mayors who think moving the start date is a good idea, but they, too, say the decision lies with board members, who will be elected on Thursday, November 7.

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