Knox County parents fight for longer summers

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Knoxville (WVLT) - There's a grassroots effort by several moms in Knoxville to convince Tennessee legislators to set a mandatory school start date so the summers don't get any shorter.

Tuesday, a Knox County mom of three testified before the education sub committee in Nashville. She tells Volunteer TV she's hopeful, but uncertain if the bill will pass.

Summers in East Tennessee get shorter and shorter for students. Back in 1995, they started August 21st, next year they're scheduled to begin about 2 weeks earlier.

"All of this has been done without any parental input no community involvement," parent Amy Olsen said.

Amy Olsen, along with statewide parent and teacher support, lobbied legislators to make August 15th the first day back for all schools in the state. She took her message to Nashville.

"I was excited today and honored to go talk to representatives and share experiences," Olsen said.

She told lawmakers starting later in August would be better on parents, it would lower the energy bills in school, and it would make kids more eager to learn.

"Kids need a break from school long enough where they're bored and ready to go back because they need to be excited," Olsen said.

Olsen says the bill would give every student in the state the same number of instruction days before standardized tests. Right now each school districts start date is different.

"Now we're hoping subcommittee will listen and do what's right for the children," Olsen said.

She's hopeful the bill will pass, but she's skeptical after seeing the politics of Nashville.

"It's government it's political people are trying to do favors for other people it's not always about what's best for children," Olsen said.

But she's keeping her fingers crossed the subcommittee will pass the bill in two weeks when they vote.

If the subcommittee passes the bill, the full education committee votes. If it passes, the bill goes to the floor for a vote.

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