Labor Day, should it be changed? Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 27, 2007 at 9:53 am
It seems that we all have this outlanded idea that Labor Day heralds the end of summer and the start of the new school year. Since now all over the country, the school year starts in August, would it make sense to change Labor Day to the last Monday in August rather than the first in September.
This idea has been brewing around in my mind for a while. As we busy ourselves in Palo Alto for back to school tomorrow, for four days and then a long weekend which is now really quite defunct as a time to go away, moving the holiday to August would give us the psychological readiness we are used to. The four day week may be a good idea for the first week of school for many reasons, but two four day weeks much make it more difficult for the administration. Even the local stores would probably do really well with Labor Day preceeding the school year and those parents who work full time have the benefit of the long weekend as the time to do all the back to school shopping. For those who want a last weekend away, the extra day would make it more meaningful. Even those who celebrate Labor Day in its true meaning, would probably celebrate more wholeheartedly if it wasn't back in the school year.
Many people who don't have children in school would probably bemoan the change out of traditional reasons, and there is nothing wrong with being traditional. I am just looking at this in a more practical sense and feel that my family would definitely enjoy having school start after Labor Day and getting down to business without the impending day off and the feel that school starts too early.
If we can't change the school year, maybe we should change the holiday.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 27, 2007 at 10:56 am
This idea, if I didn't make myself clear, would have to be at a national level not a state or even PA level. Labor Day is a national holiday and would require to be changed at the national level by the federal government. However, it has happened before that national public holidays have been changed both in this country and others. It is no reflection on the holiday just when to celebrate in terms of how life is changing the optimum day to celebrate.
Posted by Kevin, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Aug 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm
The real question is whether the summer vacation period should be contracted, as the teachers' unions, and many professional educators, would like to see happen, or should it be kept at its traditional date (at or near Labor Day).
There is backlash from parents, because it interferes with vacation plans, sports tournaments, etc. I don't have kids in the system any more, but if I did, and I had specific plans, I would live out the traditional summer, even if it meant starting school a week (or two) late.
In the end, the school system belongs to the parents and taxpayers, so we need to decide what is best for us. If the parents want a shorter summer break, so be it; if not, then they will vote with their absence.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2007 at 5:35 pm
We have had four days of school. For my family, this has been a very long week and we have not got into routine yet. Some sports have started and some have not. However, I would really like it if Monday was a regular Monday and not a day off. Today feels like summer break again, the kids didn't get out of bed til mid morning, no one wants to do anything and they all complain they are bored. I would rather that at this stage we had some homework and some sports games and then we could really feel that we were back to normal rather than this half and half.
Whether the calendar says August or September, I don't know. But, I do wish we could start school and get into routine straight away.