Montgomery needs moms

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This year’s Alabama legislative session proved one thing: We need more moms in Montgomery.

Maybe not mothers specifically — although a better gender balance would benefit everyone — but certainly some more common sense.

Perhaps then our lawmakers would not have passed a bill lengthening schools’ summer vacation by instituting a mandatory start date and end date for classes. Not only did they pass the law, they voted for it again when Gov. Robert Bentley rightfully vetoed it.

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The reasoning for the later start date? To take advantage of a longer tourism season, sponsoring lawmakers said. But does anyone in Alabama actually vacation at the beach in the middle of August? That’s when folks from Ohio — who don’t start school until after Labor Day — fill the white sand beaches.

It’s ironic that in a legislative session in which lawmakers used “flexibility” as an education buzzword so they could try to legalize charter schools, our elected officials would mandate for school officials when they have to begin classes.

A longer summer also gives students more time to forget what they learned over the long break.

And the bill didn’t even give schools a grace period; they had to revamp their schedules immediately, for the coming school year. That could cause problems for some parents if summer camps and other programs don’t adjust their schedules accordingly.

Moms in Montgomery would have known that.