OUR OPINION: Save North Dakota summers
There is no doubt at all that a later school start would benefit North Dakota's economy. Tourism is the state's second-largest industry, and much of the industry's income is generated by in-state travelers. A later school start means that familie...
There is no doubt at all that a later school start would benefit North Dakota's economy. Tourism is the state's second-largest industry, and much of the industry's income is generated by in-state travelers. A later school start means that families can plan a late-summer outing without interfering with their children's schooling. At the same time, they're helping build the state's economy.
-- Grand Forks Herald editorial, Nov. 27, 2006
Let's hang on to summer as long as we can. Let's help the tourism business grow.
Let's start schools on time -- right after Labor Day.
-- Grand Forks Herald editorial, Aug. 29, 2001
Late August often brings the best weather of the summer for outdoor activities -- but too many children are shut up in classrooms and can't enjoy these last few days of summer.
Families are cheated, because they're not able to make use of the last few days of summer for family outings -- the kinds of activities that bind families together. ... School should start after Labor Day.
-- Grand Forks Herald editorial, Aug. 23, 1990
Another school year approaches, and another push is on by parents who want North Dakota schools to follow Minnesota's practice and start classes after Labor Day.
Here's hoping the 23rd time is the charm. As the above excerpts show, the Herald has been editorializing on the subject for at least that long; and the reasons for hanging on to an August start are no better today than they were in 1990.
It makes no sense to corral students into classes for a few days, then send them off on a three-day weekend, as will happen again this year.
The Labor Day weekend is precious family-vacation time; let's keep it that way. Then there's the fact that schools in Grand Forks and elsewhere are too hot in August, and ...
Enough. You've heard the arguments before. The Start N.D. School After Labor Day group has the right idea: Let's settle the issue once and for all with "the ultimate survey," a statewide vote.
Support the petition drive, and get the issue on the ballot in November 2014. Then watch as North Dakotans recognize that "the current school calendar cheats students and the community of part of summer," as the Herald editorialized 23 years ago.
-- Tom Dennis for the Herald