Sen. Joe Sweeden has filed legislation that will move back the starting date for Oklahoma public schools to the last full week in August. Sweeden said the measure could result in important savings in the midst of a budget crunch.
“At a time when scarce resources have resulted in furloughs and layoffs at a number of schools, it’s important that we consider common sense proposals like this,” said Sweeden, D-Pawhuska. “By moving back the start of the school year, we could limit the extraordinary cost of cooling schools through the first weeks of August. Additionally, the extreme heat places greater strain on students involved in outdoor extracurricular activities.”
Sweeden’s legislation would have no effect on the length of the school year, and schools would still complete the semester by Christmas break. The Pawhuska Democrat said passage of Senate Bill 1852 would also be favorable news for the state’s tourism industry and state parks.
“Moving back the start of the school year gives us a chance to save money and boost sales taxes, making the proposal a win-win for the state,” Sweeden said. “Other states have enacted similar legislation with favorable results. This proposal gives us a chance to act in the best interest of both the state and our students.”
Sweeden noted that in 2007, Texas enacted a law barring schools from starting prior to the fourth week in August.