Wednesday, May 27, 2009

School Start

Thanks to Jim Hobbs, who serves with me on the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Coalition, I can finally see some serious information supporting the argument many states and tourism officials continue to make for a later school start date in late summer. The basis of the issue has been a moving target, but this link to an analysis by the Texas State Comptroller at the beginning of this decade puts it in dollars and cents.

There is a legitimate argument on the other side of issue. Some analysis has found that so-called poor performing students keep up just fine during the school year. Where they fall behind is during the long summer break.

While many students have access to summer camps and other opportunities to keep learning and retaining, low performing students often turn out to be those from families without those resources. My feeling is that long term, nearly all schools will go year round. Families will have plenty of time for vacations at any of several intervals during the year, but tourism interests will need to wean themselves from over-reliance on student workforce.

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