Georgia Senate Study Committee Considers School Year Start Post-Labor Day

Topic to Appear on Safe America’s Fall Forum Nov. 2 

Written by Len Pagano, CEO of the Safe America Foundation

Should Georgia schools open in July – or early September? That’s been a question for years. And, now, the Georgia State Senate is re-considering a later, more traditional school year start.

Reasons for it include the impact on tourism (reducing summer vacation income for coastal hotels, etc.) and a difficulty for some parents in getting daycare during school year weeks when youth are ‘off’ from school (due to earlier school year start-up gives weeks’ off in September, November and other post-January months).

In Cobb, the study committee has reignited a contentious years-long debate over the school calendar, with some advocating for longer summers and later start dates and others saying they’ve grown used to the shorter summers, earlier start dates and more frequent breaks adopted by Cobb and Marietta City schools in recent years.

The study committee is made up of Senate Majority Whip Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, who chairs the committee; Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, who chairs the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee; Sen. John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa, who serves as interim chair of the Senate Education Committee; and Sen. Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

State Board of Education Chairman Scott Johnson, who lives in west Cobb, is also on the study committee along with several appointees from Georgia’s travel and tourism industries.

Gooch said start dates for Georgia’s public schools seem to creep forward each year, questioning whether it would be beneficial for Georgia’s General Assembly to pass a law mandating later start dates.

This and other questions – like ending daylight savings time after Labor Day – will also be discussed during Safe America’s “Fall Forum” on November 2 at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta. To sign up and attend, contact Stephen George at (678)-437-4116.