Barbour given bill on teacher furloughs

JACKSON – Efforts to shorten the school year by five days to save money during the current budget crunch died a quiet death in the legislative process.

Language was passed by the Senate earlier this session to require school districts to meet a minimum of 175 days instead of the current 180 days. However, it gained no traction in the House after the chamber’s leaders, Gov. Haley Barbour and Superintendent Tom Burnham expressed opposition.

Some local superintendents, facing budget woes, embraced the idea, yet Barbour, Burnham and others opposed it for a number of reasons. One reason was because of the message they said it would send to the rest of the nation for the state that is last in most academic categories to be reducing the length of the school year.