Sarasota Parents Angry Over New School Start Law

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Sarasota–Two Pine View parents are upset over a new state law that allows the school start date to be moved to August 10th.

“This is not right, and why weren’t we notified,” said Janelle Haas, mother of two Pine View students.

Haas is upset with the Florida Legislature, who passed HB 7069 this session, which was signed in to law on April 14th.

The new start date language is part of the Education Accountability bill, calling for a reduction in state testing hours to 45 for students, out of 900 instruction hours.

Manatee and Sarasota School Boards are handling the new law differently at the moment.

“We are going to honor a previous two year agreement with an advisory committee which set the Sarasota County School start date for August 24th,” said Sarasota School Board Member Jane Goodwin Thursday.

Goodwin says an an advisory committee, which includes parents, will meet to discuss any new changes to be effective for the 2016-2017 calendar year.

The Manatee County School Board has tentatively passed a new agreement to start the 2015-2016 school year on August 10th, but is offering the public two more weeks to comment.  A final decision could be made by the next school board meeting, set for the April 29th.

Parents Janelle Haas and Jennifer Mason both say they were not given any notice on the changes, and feel the Florida Legislature does not care about parents, plans, vacations or students.

“This interrupts valuable vacation and quality family time with other families, who may have relatives in other parts of the country whose children will still be in school in May, when we might be finished. Plus, early August is way too hot for these kids to be in school,” said Jennifer Mason, mother of two Pine View students.