The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education will consider a resolution Tuesday calling for a later start to the school year in hopes of avoiding problems with excessive heat and summer family vacations.
The resolution, introduced by board members Richard Vladovic, George McKenna and Scott Schmerelson, asks that the school year start no earlier than the day after Labor Day, beginning with the 2017-18 school year. Classes began this year on Aug. 16.
According to the board members, the district has received complaints about the hot weather at the beginning of the school year forcing students to remain indoors — limiting their physical activity — and about the cost of running air conditioners to keep classrooms cool.
“Maintenance on AC units is an ongoing and increasingly costly issue, including rising electrical costs; additionally, some activities must be conducted in rooms or facilities built without climate control,” according to the resolution.
The resolution also states that the district has received complaints from families “unable to travel due to affordability and time-off periods running concurrent with the August start period, or parents opting to travel when they can afford and/or have leave time from work, thus causing children to miss critical start-of-year classroom time.”
The LAUSD moved up the start of school in 2012, opining that the earlier start would allow the semester to end before the winter break, meaning students can take midterm exams prior to the winter holiday break. District officials also said the change bolsters scores on Advanced Placement exams in the spring and allows the school year to end in June, giving students more options for college and university summer programs, and for summer jobs.
The 2016-17 school year is scheduled to end June 9.
—City News Service