Kelly Heinert: North Dakota High School Activities Association Misleads On Measure 8

Recently, the ND High School Athletic Association put out a letter opposing Measure 8 which would effectively make it so all public schools in North Dakota would not start classes until after Labor Day.

Universities and private schools would not be affected.

To break this letter down piece by piece, they first of all state that “Our organization and its 171Member schools strongly support local control of school calendar. Approval of this measure could impact the needed flexibility currently allowed schools in developing curricular and co‐curricular calendars.”

This is not true at all.

The measure has one sentence.  It reads “School classes shall begin after Labor Day”.

This is quite possibly the simplest language ever for an initiated measure.  The local control that the NDHSAA refers to is still going to be in the hands of each local school board.  They still have the power to change the last day of school to whatever they choose.  They also have the power to decide what days all the teachers will have their staff development days.  They will still be able to choose how long Christmas Vacation is, how long of a spring break the students will get, when to hold conferences, and when graduation would take place.

This measure only affects one thing, the start date.

Secondly, they state that they have state tournament venues booked all the way through the 2020-2021 school year.  Ok, fine.  This measure does nothing to affect those.  They will all remain the same dates and in the same cities that they are currently booked.

Their third concern is that they are afraid that if this measure passes, that student participation in sports will decrease.  Once again, this measure will not affect anything except the start date of classes.  How they think this will affect enrollment in sports is beyond me or anyone else we have asked about it.

The final problem they state with the measure is that it would shorten the seasons of some of the sports.  Once again, untrue.  The start and end date of athletics will remain exactly as they are now.  If a season started on October 1st and went through December 1st in 2014, it will be the same in 2015 if that is what NDHSAA chooses.

Like I stated before, one thing is changed by this measure if it passes, and that is the fact that school classes will start after Labor Day.  That is all.  We truly owe it to our kids to spend as much family time together as possible during our short summers.  We can’t change the weather to coincide with school, but we can change the school dates to coincide with weather.  We would urge you to vote YES on Measure 8!

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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