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Lawmakers Considering Earlier School Start Dates

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - Florida lawmakers are considering proposals that would allow most school districts to start classes earlier in August.

Under current law, most districts can start school as many as 14 days before the Labor Day holiday, though districts classified as "academically high performing" can start earlier.

For the upcoming 2015-16 academic year, the 14-day restriction would mean most districts could not start before Aug. 24.

The House Education Committee on Monday is scheduled to take up a wide-ranging bill that includes allowing districts to start as early as Aug. 10.

"The bill provides district flexibility to implement school calendars and assessment schedules based on the district's needs by deleting the link between the school start date and Labor Day and allowing districts to start school as early as August 10,'' said an analysis of the measure (PCB EDC 15-04).

Also, the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee this week approved a bill (SB 688), filed by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, that would allow schools to start 21 days before Labor Day. That would be an Aug. 17 start date for the 2015-16 academic year.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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