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Carteret County Schools' proposed academic calendar voided by judge

Carteret County Board of Education.
Carteret County Public Schools
Carteret County Board of Education.

A superior court judge has ruled Carteret County Schools' proposed academic calendar for next school year is void because it defies state law.

The Carteret County school board voted to start school nine days earlier than state law allows.

The school calendar law requires that traditional public schools start in late August. That means most schools end their first semester after winter break, and many students have to take final exams when they return in January.

According to statewide data, Carteret County was one of about 30 school districts that chose to defy the law. Some school boards have argued that it's bad for students. But advocates for the tourism industry say the law is good for summer business.

The owners of two surf shops and a popular seafood restaurant in Carteret County sued their local school board for planning to defy the law.

Judge William Wolfe agreed that the school board broke the law and he nullified their proposed calendar, but he also denied the businesses' request for the school district to pay their attorney's fees.

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Policy Reporter, a fellowship position supported by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. She has an M.A. from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Media & Journalism and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Indiana University.