Hawkins wants school districts to consider full-time classes this summer


State Sen. Brad Hawkins wants the state’s school districts to consider swapping spring and summer breaks, meaning there would be a 10-to-12 week break from school this spring, then classes would be held through the summer with a one-week break.

Hawkins, who represents the 12th District, is the ranking Republican on the Senate Education Committee.

He said switching spring and summer breaks would allow districts to be better prepared for school next fall.

In addition, Hawkins said most school staff should be vaccinated by summer and all districts could offer in-person instruction.

“The state provides districts full flexibility on how they spread their 180 instructional days,” Hawkins said in a press release Tuesday. “Most school districts would agree that in-person instruction is ideal. With the state taking so long for school employee vaccinations and few districts seemingly eager to resume their full operations, it makes sense to me to cut those losses, swap those breaks, and move ahead.”

Hawkins earlier had pushed for educators to be moved up on the schedule for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hawkins acknowledged there could be resistance from some teacher unions and districts to a change in the school schedule.

“We definitely can’t have the teachers’ union or some districts resisting the reopening of schools because they are so fundamental to our communities and families,” Hawkins said. “We all need to work together to make sure all students receive the education they deserve. I’m proposing another option to help do this.”