New Arkansas House bill could change mandatory school start date

Bill Would Change School Start Date

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - An Arkansas legislator is hoping to change the mandatory start date for schools and redefine what would be considered a school day.

The bill, HB1237, focuses on the minimum number of school hours rather than the actual school days.

It adds 20 minutes to the school day, which shaves 10 days off the full school calendar, allowing teachers to make the same amount of money with less work.

State Rep. Mark Lowery says there are many moving parts in the bill, so it will be a while before it gets implemented if it does pass.

“There’s just so many benefits, but it’s going to take a lot of coordination between different entities, so that’s why we’re going to have an implementation day that’s much further out hopefully beyond effects and the negative impacts of the pandemic,” Lowrey said.

Lowery also mentioned that the school districts’ early start dates have dramatically affected the hospitality and tourism industry, which is number 2 in the state.

A superintendent in Region 8 says that the bill seems like it could be beneficial to schools if the pros to the bill outweigh the cons.

Copyright 2021 KAIT. All rights reserved.