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News

Despite Previous Vote, LAUSD Will Still Start Academic Year In The Middle Of Summer

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LAUSD's Jefferson High School (Photo by Michael Locke via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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In late September, parents and students across the Southland celebrated after the nation's second largest school district voted to push the beginning of its academic year later into August. The Los Angeles Unified School District typically starts classes three weeks before Labor Day (school started on August 16 this year); the September vote would have kept the start date before Labor Day, but gradually pushed it back two weeks over the next two years.

Well, the district's 640,000 students might want to reconsider those celebrations—in a 4-2 vote, the school board reversed course on Tuesday night and decided to keep the early August start date at least through 2020.

School board member Scott Schmerelson, who had originally led the fight to start after Labor Day (the September vote was a compromise between the pre- and post-Labor Day factions) told KPCC that he changed his mind and decided to vote for reinstating the earlier start date because "he was concerned that a later start might prompt parents to pull children out of district-run schools and enroll them in charter schools that begin classes in early- or mid-August."

LAUSD implemented its "early start" in 2012; up until then, most schools in the district started after Labor Day. KTLA reports that the district altered the calendar so that students would be able to take exams and finish the fall semester before winter break, and also hopefully improve AP scores in the spring. According to the L.A. Times, early start proponents credit the change with propelling rising graduation rates and "other gains" for the school system.