The State of Texas derives its revenue, including education dollars, from sales tax income generated in part from a robust travel and tourism industry. The summer months in Texas are a precious commodity. Texas’ many rivers, lakes and beaches provide recreation and employment during the summer months that cannot be replicated during other times of the year. Amusement and water parks have invested in Texas, hiring and training Texas youth for summer jobs. These businesses open June 1 to accommodate travelers from other states, and their workforce must be available to meet those opening dates.
For many youth, these full-time jobs pay for college and supplement family income. Texas youth camps that encompass Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, Y-camps, faith-based and independent camps guide the physical, emotional, social and spiritual development of Texas youth. For many children this is their one opportunity to thrive in an environment outside of home and school. Youth camps also provide meaningful employment to college-age students and school district employees. These are just some of the many reasons why Texans desire a traditional school year that protects the summer months for Texas families.
Why are Uniform Start and End Dates Preferred?
Benefits of Running the 4th Monday in August- End of May
Alignment with Texas Higher Education
Allows public school students to take dual credit and advanced classes at colleges and universities
Allows teachers access to higher education opportunities
Allows families involved in higher education and public education to take advantage of travel opportunities during the summer months
Alignment with Enrichment and Recreational Activities
Allows students/teachers to participate in UIL activities and competitions
Allows students/teachers to participate in summer-related activities such as youth camps, Little League,
swim teams, and other water activities that occur only in the summer
Allows students/teachers to participate in summer travel/exchange programs with students/teachers in other states/countries
Alignment with Meaningful Employment
Students are able to accept meaningful employment for a longer period of time over the summer. Many rely on this income to pay for college or supplement family income.
Teachers/counselors/staff are able to accept meaningful employment for additional income.
Options for Expanded Learning & Make-up Time
Minutes can be added to the school day providing for more instruction while students are already at school.
Virtual learning can be utilized to provide additional instruction. During COVID-19 teachers and students have used technology as an additional tool for receiving instruction and completing assignments.
Staff development days throughout the school year can be clearly designated on the calendar as possible student make-up days should additional time be needed.
School districts that combine the above options and lengthen the instructional day by 15 minutes can gain 3 weeks’ worth of make-up time without lengthening the school year.
Did You Know?
Houston ISD’s Apollo program (19xx) added 10 days to the school year to address learning loss. Rice University’s critique of the program asserted that only the small group/tutorial instruction moved the needle for children who were below grade level. Additional days were subsequently dropped from the HISD calendar as they did not contribute to heightened achievement.
According to Dr. Ray Perryman (2017): When multiplier effects are considered, the total economic losses of shifting the school start date one week earlier in August includes over $1.0 billion in aggregate spending and $543.2 million in output (gross product) each year, as well as 7,506 jobs.
When children attend school is not indicative of how well they learn. What happens while they are in the classroom and what they are exposed to in the world are the critical pieces to an exceptional education.