No Modification to North Carolina’s School Calendar Law Satisfies Multiple Competing Interests (February 2017)

North Carolina is 1 of 14 states that currently prescribe when public schools begin the school year and 1 of 2 states that stipulate a date when public schools must end the school year. Prior to 2004 , local boards of education had authority to determine start and end dates. The Program Evaluation Division found that opinions differ on when public schools should start and end the school year, and no modification to the State’s school calendar law satisfies multiple competing interests, which include organizations representing state government, education, parents and citizens, and travel and tourism. As a result, this report makes no recommendation for changing the school calendar law. PED also found that allowing school calendar flexibility as a mechanism for low-performing schools to address summer learning loss provides an opportunity to increase student performance. To address the needs of low-performing schools, the General Assembly should provide school calendar flexibility for schools and districts identified as low-performing by the State Board of Education, and direct the Department of Public Instruction to evaluate whether a modified school calendar increases student performance in low-performing schools and districts.

Final Report

Executive Summary


Relevant Legislation:

  • Senate Bill 321 (2017–18): An act to provide additional flexibility to schools and school districts identified as low-performing, as recommended by a Program Evaluation Division report. This legislation was not enacted.

Press Coverage: