UNIFORM SCHOOL STARTING DATE
FOR STUDENTS FOR THE 2004-05 SCHOOL YEAR
WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education desires to have the Alabama Department of Education return results of student assessments to the local school systems at the earliest possible date; and
WHEREAS, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires three different times in Section 1116 of the Act that the LEA shall ensure that the results of state academic assessments administered in the school year are available to the LEA before the beginning of the school year [Section 1116(a)(2)]; that identification of any Title I elementary or secondary school that fails for two consecutive years to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) should take place before the beginning of the school year following the failure [Section 1116(b)(1)(A) and (B)]; and that the LEA shall, no later than the first day of the school year provide all students enrolled in a school failing to make AYP with the option of transferring to another public school served by the LEA that has made AYP [Section 1116(b)(1)(E)(i)]; and
WHEREAS, on November 14, 2002, the Alabama State Board of Education adopted a resolution that called for the creation of a committee “to study the feasibility of adopting a standard school calendar for Alabama’s public schools”; and
WHEREAS, due to the First Special Session of the Alabama Legislature in 2003 and the September 9 vote on Amendment One, the committee delayed meeting until September 26, 2003; and
WHEREAS, the committee acknowledged the need to establish “the earliest possible date for the start of the 2004-05 school year for students,” and recommended “the starting date be the earliest feasible date by which the Department of Education can provide assessment data results to local school systems for the first day of school in order to comply with NCLB,” and that the start date “should be reviewed and revised annually as the Department of Education gains the resources and efficiencies necessary to shorten the time required to analyze and disseminate data,” and that this recommendation includes “a review of Department of Education operations by external experts to ensure that reports are generated as quickly as possible”:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That in order to be in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Alabama State Board of Education does hereby recommend that no school system in Alabama begin the 2004-05 school year for students sooner than August 9, 2004, with a goal of the 2005-06 start date being sooner, and that should a local school system elect to disregard this recommendation that any questions, concerns, or consequences regarding the receipt of federal funds associated with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 would be negotiated directly between the respective local school system in question and the U. S. Department of Education.