Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

February 1, 2012

Balanced calendar debate


The Herald-Tribune

BATESVILLE — Legislation authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) to help give parents a voice in school balanced calendar debates passed the Senate Committee on Elections Jan. 23 by an 8-1 vote.

Leising said Senate Bill 248 would require a summer study committee to examine the idea of Indiana school corporations conducting referendums of registered Indiana voters before establishing balanced calendars.

“Switching to a balanced calendar is a local issue that directly impacts Indiana families,” Leising said. “With this in mind, I have heard from many concerned parents interested in being a part of that decision-making process. Balanced calendars do affect school start dates and when families can plan to spend extra time together.”

Typically, balanced calendars make summer vacations six weeks in length with classes starting at the beginning of August and allow three separate two-week breaks during the school year. Currently, a corporation can change to a balanced calendar with school board approval.

“I’ve seen a study showing 78 percent of parents have never been asked their opinions on the balanced calendar issue,” Leising said. “We need to give parents the opportunity to voice their opinions and this bill will help do that.”

Save Indiana Summers and three Hoosier parents spoke in support of Leising’s legislation. SB 248 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.