State schools Superintendent Tommy Bice says he prefers that local superintendents keep their school year at 180 days, but he respects their right to make their own decisions on the matter, even if that means cutting days.
His comments follow the enactment of a new state law requiring schools to start no earlier than two weeks prior to Labor Day and to end before Memorial Day. The law lets school systems shorten their year from the previously required 180 days — the number mandated by most states — so long as students are in class at least 1,080 hours.
Some systems, including Mobile County, are considering shortening the calendar to 170 or 173 days, but adding extra minutes to each day.
Bice conducted a seminar via the web last week with local superintendents and leaders of several education groups to go over the specifics of the new law.