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Calendar flexibility bills dead in committee

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has long pushed for more flexibility in its school calendar, but this doesn’t appear to be the year.

A bill that would grant the district the ability to start and end school when it desired has been sent to the proverbial legislative graveyard: the N.C. Senate’s Ways and Means committee. The panel rarely – if ever – meets, and bills sent there usually never see the light of day.

The CMS calendar flexibility bill is joined by eight similar bills that would give the same privileges to other school districts. N.C. Sen. Jeff Jackson, who co-sponsored the CMS bill, said that none of them is going anywhere.

That puts a big red X next to the top item on the district’s legislative agenda for the year. CMS officials really want to be able to open school three weeks earlier so they can hold first semester exams before winter break.

But by law, all schools must open on the Monday closest to Aug. 26. That date was chosen in 2004 to help boost tourism in the state’s coastal counties. A later summer break means more beach time.

Jury’s still out on item No. 2 on the CMS legislative agenda: raising teacher pay to the national average.

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn