MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama State Rep. Steve Hurst is drafting a bill proposing longer summer breaks for students.
He says the goal is to encourage more students to get jobs.
“We got to have workforce. Kids, you got to have jobs. We got to have training. If you start training them young, you bring them up, we got cooperation community, we’ve got cooperation of workforce development got corporations of businesses,” Hurst said.
He says with shorter summer breaks, students are less likely to get hired by employers because there’s not enough time to get them trained before its time to head back to the classroom.
“You’re increasing workforce development. You check it out today, today, right now Joe Morton is saying that by 2025 we’re gonna be 200,000 people short if we don’t do something," Hurst said.
Hurst’s solution to extend summer break from just before Memorial Day until just after Labor Day.
Some organizations have already voiced opposition.
The Alabama Association of School Boards issued this statement: “Alabama’s school boards are strongly opposed to legislative efforts mandating school start and end dates. We have heard from school board members across the state who believe a calendar requiring school start after Labor Day and end before Memorial Day is simply not in the best interest of students, teachers and communities.”
The Montgomery County School Board recently passed a resolution 7-0 to oppose the proposed legislation. MPS Superintendent Ann Roy Moore released this statement: “All local school boards and superintendents have their own decisions to make about school calendars. We think our calendar should fit the needs of our community.”
Some parents say extending summer break could cause students to lose their motivation to attend classes.
“If you take a long break then by the time you get ready to go back, you’re not focused. You have nothing to focus on. Let’s be honest, when kids are out for summer break, how many kids do you see pick up books or read," Coretta Williams said.
Right now, this bill has not been filed. It is only a draft. While the draft bill does call for a longer summer break, it does not contain changes for how many hours should be in a normal school day. According to the draft bill, each local board of education would have control of establishing how schools will reach the required instructional hours for the school year.