IAAPA, Florida tourism industry lobbies for worker-friendly school year

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Two years ago, Florida's tourism industry -- with a little help from thousands of angry parents across the state -- scored one of its most significant political victories in recent memory: A new law ensuring that children don't go back to school too soon every summer.

Now, tourism operators across the country are helping spearhead campaigns for similar laws in other states, in hopes of preventing anxious school districts from undermining the profitable summer-travel season.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Later start dates for the school year help amusement businesses maintain staffing levels.

Doesn't that just mean the vacation season will be extended and parks will still run into the problem of being short-staffed right before school starts up again, or do they think people won't travel after a certain point no matter how much later the start date is for school?

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Myself and others of my generation have pointed out in the past that it used to be you started school day after Labor Day, and were out by the first week in June. With the addtion of the Federal three day weekend holidays, compounded by lengthened breaks and inservice days during the year the school year has become ten months long.

^Exactly, after Labor Day start now equals after Flag Day end.

Its stupid, I much rather be off one more week in June. Not to mention, it reeks havoc with fall sports who have a definitive end date (Thanksgiving in high school because no one wants to play a high school championship game the day after Thanksgiving) so they start their season before school does with the new rules.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

This ought to be real interesting. As more colleges switch to semesters, students start back earlier to college. Yet the other schools start back later and get out later. That will be fun for staffing. Plus, given the state of education in the US, it's a bit sad tourism is given the higher precedence.

Touchdown said: (Thanksgiving in high school because no one wants to play a high school championship game the day after Thanksgiving) so they start their season before school does with the new rules.

In Illinois they have ALWAYS (at least as far back as I can remember) played their state championship football games the Friday/Saturday after Thanksgiving. (Four "Class" championships on Friday, four "Class" championships on Saturday)

--George H

Let's REALLY PO the IAAPA, start lobbying for a year-round school year.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

Let's not.

The dirty little secret is that the school year is 175 instructional days. Around here, that means 180 days scheduled, with five built-in 'calamity days' for snow, ice, or power failure. And no matter what calendar is adopted, the school year is still 180 days. Now which calendar is more friendly (based on 2008-2009)--

Start on August 27...August = 3 days
Off Labor Day...September = 21 days
October = 23 days
November = 18 days (off Thursday/Friday for Thanksgiving)
December = 17 days (end on 12/23)
====> That's 82 days
Restart January 5...January = 20 days
February = 20 days
March = 22 days
Spring Break = April 10-17...April = 16 days
Off Memorial Day
End May 29 (May = 20 days)

Start on August 27...August = 3 days
Off Labor Day
September = 21 days
Off Columbus Day week
October = 18 days
Off Veteran's Day
Off Thanksgiving week
November = 14 days
Winter Break starts Dec. 19...
December = 15 days
====> That's 71 days
Restart January 5
Off for MLK day
January = 19 days
Off for President's Week
February = 15 days
March = 22 days
Spring Break = April 10-17
April = 16 days
Off Memorial Day week
May = 16 days
====> That's 159 days
Off Flag Day week
June = 17 days
Off July 3-6
Finish on July 8...July = 4 days
====> That's 180 days
That leaves 17 weekdays in July and 17 weekdays in August for Summer Vacation

Neither of those is quite a real schedule. But (B) is closer to what a real "year round" calendar starts to look like, with long breaks taken at seemingly random intervals throughout the year. Even worse is a multi-track schedule where each school is divided into three tracks, where the student population is divided into two groups and the two groups operate on radically different schedules.

There is a lot of nonsense going on out there with school years, and the real issue is that there is really no compelling reason for the school year to be stretching out at both ends so long as there is no concurrent increase in instructional time. Be honest now, would you prefer to sweat in school in July and have a week off in February? Bear in mind that everybody else would be on the same schedule, so the opportunity to visit Disneyland in the shoulder season wouldn't be the shoulder season anymore...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Well, if the school had good A/C...

Yet on the other hand, if you lived in say, SoCal or FL where parks are open year-round, it wouldn't be bad.

But if it was in the Northeast or Midwest, that's 17 days you're missing out on coaster riding.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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