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L.A. Unified Backtracks on New School Calendar, Says Start Date Will Remain Unchanged

Students board a bus back to school after walking out of class and attending a march in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 14, 2016. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Less than three months after reaching a compromise to start the school year later, L.A. Unified has changed course again and will keep its early start schedule.

The lengthy debate over the schedule has hardly been scintillating — but it matters to students and parents, who say it affects not only vacation plans and child-care arrangements but summer camps, summer jobs, enrichment programs and even college applications.

School began this year on Aug. 16. 

Many families prefer a traditional post-Labor Day school start because it lets them schedule escapes and keep their kids out of classrooms and physical-education classes during the most intense heat of late summer. Some in the school system have pointed out that it also reduces air-conditioning costs. Such views prevailed in September, when the Board of Education voted to shift away gradually from the earlier, August start.

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