HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-It’s only been a matter of months since the Alabama Legislature passed a law mandating when the school year can begin and end, but talk of a bill that would overturn the new setup is already brewing.
State lawmakers held a forum with parents and school administrators Monday night at Columbia High School to discuss repealing the Flexible School Calendar Act which was passed in the spring.
The new law allows local school boards to still determine their start and end dates for an academic year, provided they don’t fall any earlier than two weeks before Labor Day, or past Memorial Day. Many systems in north Alabama had been starting as early as the first week of August before the changes were enacted this year, a tradition some lawmakers said was hurting tourism in other parts of the state.
But proponents of repeal said the new system was an overreach of power into issues that should be settled by parents and local school boards.
“My biggest concern with the school calendar bill is that it essentially removed local control,” said State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison), who is sponsoring a bill to repeal the new calendar mandates. “I’ve spoken to several of my colleagues who are looking forward to another opportunity to vote on this piece of legislation.”
The new system was approved by significant majorities in both the Alabama State House and Senate, with the bulk of opposition coming from lawmakers in the north part of the state. Gov. Robert Bentley vetoed the bill, but it was overridden by both bodies of the legislature.