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Project: Save Our Summers

SchoolStartResearch continues to show that the majority of Americans leave over 600 million days of paid vacation time on the table each year. The results are debilitating for both employees and the economy. Beyond the sheer mental health implications, employees that took ten or less vacation days have been found to be less likely to receive a raise or bonus than those who take their allotted vaca. And, of course, had those paid vacation days been cashed in, the American economy would be $223 billion richer, with an additional 1.6 million jobs created.

The U.S. Travel Association has launched Project: Time Off to communicate the dire consequences of a society that doesn't relax and recreate. But, there is something even more sinister at work that threatens more than just our economy and our ability to score a raise. It's the inexorable creep of school into August (indeed, a handful of districts actually started school last week).

Tina Bruno has been the standard bearer for starting school after Labor Day for almost 20 years, successfully leading a roll back in Texas and then advising other State coalitions of parents around the country. We have the distinct pleasure to have worked with her in some of those States...but, more importantly, learn from her treasure trove of research that proves that a pre-Labor Day School Start fails America, students, families and teachers on virtually every level.

The only positive one can say about an early School Start is that students can be tested on first semester content before the December break...which, if you think about it, would suggest that students can't retain learning for two weeks. And, if students can't retain what they've learned for more than two weeks, what's the point of school (other than as child-care while parents are at work)?

The Coalition for a Traditional School Year has just launched a new website, Facebook platform and Twitter feed to keep supporters connected, informed and motivated. From articles on why a post-Labor Day start is better for teens, learning and the economy to updated data on the Start Dates in each State, Tina's Coalition has established a powerful online resource with which we all can do what is needed in our States, be that roll the Start Back or maintain its post-Labor Day reality.

And, Tina is waiting to hear from you. Reach out...and see how you can be a part of the movement.

          
Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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