MARIETTA, Ga. -- Angry parents booed the Cobb County School Board Thursday night when the board voted four to three to change the school calendar and establish a later start date to the school year.
Shouts of "Recall! Recall!" filled the board room as Chair Alison Bartlett took the vote, asking for a show of hands, and announced the result.
Most of the parents at the meeting accused the four board members who voted to change the school calendar of ignoring what the majority of their constituents want.
The calendar that the board adopted establishes the first day of school in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years as August 15, instead of August 1. August 1 was the start date for the current school year, and would have been the start date for the subsequent two years if the board had not changed it.
Most of the parents at the meeting prefer the earlier, August 1st date -- the so-called "balanced calendar" -- because by starting school two weeks early, it allows for two, additional one-week breaks during the school year, in September and February.
"It's really an embarrassment for them to behave this way, and to completely disregard, disenfranchise, the majority of their voters in their areas," said Cobb County Parent Donette Konneker, who waved a "recall" sign during the meeting.
But another Cobb County parent, Dave Drabik, was happy the board established a later start date.
"I think a lot of people here tonight had their vacations and their own agendas in mind, not what's best for the kids of Cobb County."
Drabik pointed out that the three, new board members -- elected this past fall -- for example all said that, if elected, they would support changing to a later start date; so, Drabik said, in their districts it could be said that most voters support the later start date.
The school calendar adopted Thursday night will mean the summer break will be two weeks longer than it was this past summer.
But there will be no other extended breaks during the school year, except for Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and one week in April.
Board Members Voting to Change to an August 15 Start Date:
Board Members Voting to Keep the Current Aug. 1 Start Date:
Lynnda Eagle District 1
David Morgan District 3
David Banks District 5