Breaking News
More () »

VERIFY: State law in North Carolina blocks CMS from starting school August 16

CMS cannot start Aug. 16 because of a North Carolina state law.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a little over a month, kids across North Carolina will be heading back to school. 

The official start date is Wednesday, Aug. 25, but some parents want their students to start sooner. With so many unknowns about the upcoming school year, parents have been asking who makes the schedule and if it can be changed. 


Can Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools start on Aug. 16?


No, CMS can't start on Aug. 16 because of a North Carolina state law. 



According to CMS' School calendar, the 2021 school year start date is Wednesday, Aug. 25. According to the Department of Public Instruction, a 2012 state law requires each district to have a start date no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26, and an end no later than Friday that is closest to June 11. 

Click here to sign up for the daily Wake Up Charlotte newsletter

"You would think that a school board would be that would be the group responsible for choosing when school starts, but in North Carolina, that's very strictly regulated by the North Carolina general assembly," said Dashew.

According to Dashew, they have very little control over what day they start and end, and yes, they want to change that. 

"What we would love to see is to start early enough that students can take their finals before the first semester and to try to align our calendars with the colleges," said Dashew. 

Community colleges begin the week of Aug. 16, a week before CMS. Dashew said CMS administrators would also like students to take their state tests before the Christmas break instead of after. 

"You go to Christmas break, you're not studying for a couple of weeks, and then you forget everything, and you come back and take your finals," said Dashew. 

There is currently a bill in the General Assembly that would change the law, allowing individual school districts to start as early as Aug. 10 and end as soon as June 11. 

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

Before You Leave, Check This Out