ATLANTA (Aug. 31, 2018) | Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) has been appointed by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle to serve as Chair of the Senate Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools.
“As we celebrate Labor Day each year as the unofficial end of summer, most of our public schools have been back in full swing for nearly a month,” said Sen. Gooch. “Additionally, August is typically the hottest time of year when energy bills reach their peak and student athletes’ safety is a big concern. I believe that for these reasons and others, it is a good time to take a look at how we compare to other states who still utilize a more traditional school calendar with their start dates after Labor Day. We look forward to hearing from all key stakeholders on how this shift would impact our public schools, students, parents and the tourism industry. Our goal is to determine if a later start date is feasible and if it would provide additional opportunities for families to take a vacation together while increasing the availability of summer workers for our booming travel and hospitality industries. We will review these possibilities while also ensuring that there will be no disruption to the education of our children.”
“Senator Gooch’s leadership has helped guide North Georgia – and our entire state – to achieve record job growth and economic prosperity. I’m confident this study committee will diligently evaluate how local districts across our state can best align each system’s school calendar with their community’s unique needs, while ensuring that every student has access to a world-class education,” said Lt. Governor Cagle.
“The Georgia Travel Association (GATA) commends Senator Steve Gooch and the leadership of the State Senate for taking steps to fully examine Georgia’s school start date and its impact on the state’s tourism industry by establishing their Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools,” said Kelsey Moore, Executive Director of the Georgia Travel Association. “GATA supports the establishment of sensible guidelines to create a more uniform school start date that benefits parents, students, and the many locally-owned businesses that depend on the tourism industry to help drive Georgia’s economy. These summer experiences, internships and job opportunities are critical components in the state’s efforts around workforce development. We look forward to working with this committee to take a comprehensive look at an issue that has a significant impact on our students, families and communities.”
The Senate Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools was created by the passage of Senate Resolution 1068 during the 2018 Legislative Session. As stated in the resolution, 11 members will serve on the committee including the chairman of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism, Education and Youth and Appropriations Committees. The committee will review the effect of varied school start dates on the travel and hospitality industries. The committee must report its findings on or before December 1, 2018.
Sen. Steve Gooch serves as Majority Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus. He represents the 51st Senate District which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Union and White counties and portions of Forsyth and Pickens counties. He may be reached at 404.656.9221 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.