Carter & Ebbin Team Up to Improve Schools

The Alexandria Gazette reported today on the introduction of legislation designed to give some Virginia schools more latitude in deciding when to open their doors each year.

Introduced by Delegate Adam Ebbin, the bill would largely overturn existing law which requires schools to start after Labor Day in order to support Virginia tourism.

The proposed change was first suggested by Alexandria School Board member Mimi Carter as a way to improve educational outcomes.

“The more time students spend in school, the more they learn,” she said.  “We should make it easy for our most challenged schools to open their doors sooner and to provide more instruction,” she said.  “Delegate Ebbin’s bill would give local educators the option of choosing a start time that works best for their students.”

According to the Gazette, previous efforts to do away with the ‘King’s Dominion Provision,’ as the restriction is known, have met with failure. That’s why Ebbin narrowly targeted his bill to Title 1 schools, where Virginia’s at-risk students are concentrated.

“I think we can make a really good case,” said Ebbin. “I think this is a bill that has a good chance of passing.”

Although the date of the committee hearing has yet to be scheduled, Carter says she plans on travelling to Richmond to support the bill. This comes on the heels of a vote by the board to support the change, an effort that’s also received some measure of support from Arlington County.

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