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Why August has Become the New September
This is the first day of August, and unlike when I was growing up back in the 1950s, most school-age children and college students will be returning to their classrooms before the month is out. For most of the 20th Century the traditional school start date was the day after Labor Day, and some even waited until the following week to begin classes. But this is no longer the case, even though the school calendars don't require any more actual classroom days than was the case when start dates were later. In fact college often didn't resume classes until mid-September. And high school and college sports now start before Labor Day.

And while there have been petitions in some areas to return the start date to after Labor Day, most have been unsuccessful; the city of Chicago being one of the rare exceptions. It is hotter and better swimming weather in late August that in late May and early June, but for some reason you can't tell that to a school board. On the Internet I have found articles actually suggesting shortening the school year to eight months, starting around October 1 and running through May. But I seriously doubt that the PTB would ever go for it.

For the past three decades the trend seems to have been for parents to be pressured to instill in their kids that their determination, focus and strong will can more mountains. Kids really can't be kids and have lots of playtime the way we did back when I was growing up. And yet I often wonder whether the student loan crisis is making folks long for the days when even an eighth grade education was sufficient to get you somewhere. The businesses that are hurting with the earlier start dates are those such as public swimming pools, campgrounds and amusement parks which often end up shortening their seasons and closing just when often the weather is at its hottest, because they are unable to find lifeguards and other essential staff once school resumes.

Many school districts will cry wolf when it comes to lack of funding, and very often have threatened to shorten class time as a result. But in reality the only time that happens is when there is a teachers' and school employees' strike, which in itself has gotten less frequent in recent years. Somehow they always managed to find the money somewhere. And is the increasing emphasis on more and more education really worth it in the long run, when often folks might be approaching 30 before they become full-time workers and begin families? Would love to hear your thoughts on all of this.

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Why August has Become the New September - by beechnut79 - 08-01-2019, 09:14 AM

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