Posted: Friday, September 27th 2013 at 9:34am
Divided Cobb County board OKs earlier school start
By The Associated Press
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) -- A divided Cobb County school board has decided to start the next two school years a week earlier in August and include a fall break for teachers and students.
The board approved the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school calendars by a 4-3 vote after an hour-long discussion Thursday night, The Marietta Daily Journal reported ( http://bit.ly/1bc99ub ).
The school calendar issue has been contentious in the county, where students supply much of the workforce for tourist attractions such as Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags White Water during the summer months.
Cobb Travel and Tourism spokeswoman Lindsey Burruss said her organization "conservatively" estimates that a one-week earlier start to the school year would cut nearly $21 million from the county's travel and tourism industry. That would mean about $210,000 less in special tax collections for the school system during that one-week period, she said.
Parent Sarah Lyons urged the board to make a decision with the students in mind, not Six Flags over Georgia.
But parent Jennifer Fink said that summer jobs, relaxation and family vacations are important for children.
Cobb County schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the board needed to make a decision and stick with it.
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