Sarasota Parents Angry Over New School Start Law


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.


  1. I’ve spoken to the school board: Sarasota County won’t be changing the schedule for next year. Our calendars are created on 2 year cycles and this fall will be the 2nd year. Next fall, the possibility is there for an earlier start date.

  2. Florida Legislation does NOT care about the kids. It’s about money, profit and privatizing public schools. They’ve proven it time and time again for quite some time.

    • Wait a tick…ever/never….even/neven?
      “I just can’t even,” or “I just can neven?”
      Some sexy grammar, that…

  3. Is this to extend the school year or start it sooner, and it will be finished sooner? If it’s to extend the school year, I’m not for it. It’s true, parents who work may like it but there are those like above who cherish the time with friends and family. And, the temperature is a great reason NOT to do it. They have recess, those who still get it, outside. Of course, maybe public schools will just eliminate recess all together. Not as far-fetched as it sounds.

  4. So every extra day added to the calendar is how much $$ to staffing? I believe the kids will go still only 180 days but will have more days off during the year. Doesn’t anyone believe that kids should be allowed to be kids:? not our educators

  5. Where is the people’s representation? Who initiates these actions? This is not a public-driven initiative!

  6. Georgia did this 4 years ago and I was against it, but later changed my mind when I saw the benefit of extra breaks throughout the school year. Sarasota County pushes the students hard all year long, oftentimes assigning homework over holidays (which I feel is completely wrong), so this may be the difference with Georgia. We’ll have to wait and see and hope for the best.


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