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Some lawmakers hope to revise school calendar

The Associated Press

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CHARLOTTE — Some North Carolina lawmakers hope this year's winter storms will spark new discussion on the law on when schools can start and must end.

Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg, said the state should leave it up to local school districts to decide when to start and end classes.

"I think it's going to get some more traction coming up because so many people are impacted by this storm," Cotham said.

The current law requires that schools start no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and end no later than the Friday closest to June 11. The law was endorsed by the tourism industry and some parents, who said early-August openings eroded vacation time.

Some school officials say they would like to start classes earlier to allow students take first-semester exams before winter break. That would also provide more flexibility to deal with snow makeup days, they say.

But some lawmakers say it's unlikely that the law will be changed because this year's legislative session is a short one.

"I don't think there's an appetite for changing the start and finish dates," said Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Republican.

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