From L.A. Daily News by Susan Abram:
All Los Angeles Unified campuses will begin the 2012-13 school year three weeks earlier than usual after the school board voted Tuesday to push forward with a long-delayed early-start calendar.

The 2012-13 school year will start next Aug. 14, and will conclude June 4 the following year, with a three-week break dividing the fall and spring semesters.

"The closure we're able to gain at the end of the fall semester allows our students to have a break that was before filled with projects and work," said Herman Clay, principal at Cleveland High in Reseda, one of 18 LAUSD campuses that has already implemented the schedule.

"Our parents were very pleased with this event, and we received many comments that they were glad their children were able to relax during the break," he said.

The early-start calendar has been debated for years.

Plans to implement it in 2011-12 were delayed because of uncertainty over the effects of state funding cuts on the district's budget.

The calendar was set to take effect in 2012-13, although some board members worried that it would worsen the district's projected budget deficit of $600 million.

Officials had estimated it would cost $4 million to implement the early-start calendar because employees would receive holiday pay for the Labor Day holiday and special-education programs would have to be staffed in the summer and winter. However, a new estimate projected the cost will be less than $1 million.

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