JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – We first told you about a local bill that could give Pitt County Schools flexibility with its start and end times for the school year.

Now, a similar bill has been filed that could have the same effect on school districts across the entire state. Some local military communities are all in favor of it.  

If House Bill 86 gets passed, the new start date for schools across the state could be August 10. Some local school districts are ready for that flexibility for students and their families. 

“The school system cannot begin for students any sooner than the Friday closest to August 26 right now. And we [must] be finished no later than the Monday closest to June 11,” said Chief Communications Officer for Onslow County Schools, Brent Anderson.  

With the current calendar in place, students complete their first semester after Christmas break in Onslow County. This causes some stress for military families in the area. 

“A lot of those come in and out during the middle of the year around that holiday time. So, they’ll come in and we’ll still have about two weeks left of the semester before we start the second semester, or they transfer out of here going somewhere else. And they haven’t finished the semester yet,” said Anderson. 

If the bill passes, OCS will have the ability to shift the calendar by 12 days. It means they could wrap up the semester by Christmas break and the school year would be over by Memorial Day, ultimately helping those military families transition better.  

“Looking at local control and site-based management, letting school systems make decisions that are best for them. That would be a big benefit for us and for our community,” said Anderson.  

State Rep. Tim Reeder introduced a similar bill for Pitt County and co-sponsors House Bill 86.  

“Many counties are looking for this flexibility in the school calendar. And so that’s why it’s moved to the statewide bill. There’s a lot of support across the state for this,” said Reeder.  

But the bill could face some challenges when it hits the senate.  

“What I’ve come to understand is that oftentimes the Senate has difficulty and concerns about this school flexibility. So, we’re going to have to work across the chambers to ensure that this is passed statewide,” said Reeder.