Bill would also have to be introduced in Senate

Published: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 09:51 PM.

Craven County Schools could get a calendar waiver from the legislature by its self-imposed March 15 deadline under a local bill recently introduced by N.C. Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven.

If granted, the waiver would allow the school system to put all of its schools — traditional, year-round and Early College — on a single modified calendar for the 2013-14 school year.

The school board has said if lawmakers don’t act on its request by March 15, the Craven system would wait a year to try again.

Speciale, with Rep. George Graham, D-Lenoir, and Rep. John Bell, R-Wayne, as co-sponsors, filed the bill on Valentine’s Day.

Speciale said the bill satisfies both the Craven County Board of Education’s request and his personal conviction that “the government closest to the people is the one that governs best.”

Speciale said that Craven County Schools Superintendent Lane Mills visited him about the proposal to put the school system on one modified calendar, which would have classes starting for all public schools on Aug. 5 and dismissing on May 23.

“It’s not about whether I agree with what the school board is doing, but that I agree the school board is the one that should be setting the schedule,” Speciale said. “If the people don’t agree with the decision, that’s who they should get a hold of. I don’t believe the state should ever have been in scheduling to begin with.”

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