The 2019-20 school year is set to begin: Some teachers already at school; Most kids start Aug. 12

School entrance sign. Photo, CD Davidson-Hiers

All signs point to a new school year:

Teachers in some districts are already at school; students in most districts will start classes Aug. 12, and Florida’s sales tax holiday is about to launch.

Approved by the Florida Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis, the sales tax holiday is a tax-free back-to-school shopping spree, extending from Friday, Aug. 2 through Tuesday, August 6, according to the Florida Department of Education.

Certain items will be exempt from sales taxes, such as school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; clothing, shoes and accessories selling for $60 or less per item, and computers and other accessories selling for $1,000 or less per item, when purchased for noncommercial or personal use, according to the agency.

“The start of the school year is around the corner and anything we can do to help Florida families afford school supplies is an investment in our future,” Gov. DeSantis said in a statement.

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran added: “Getting ready for the school year can be expensive, and this tax break will help families prepare for the year while setting up students for success.”

Meanwhile, summer is essentially over for teachers in 67 districts.

In Bay County in the Panhandle, teachers are already at school today, for an instructional “in-service” day to prepare for the academic year. Earlier this week, Jefferson County launched an “all teachers return/back to school boot camp” from July 29 to August 9.

Later this week, teachers will go to school in 21 districts, according to school calendar information provided by the Florida Department of Education.

By the next week, another 43 districts will have teachers at school.

The district with the latest start dates is Miami-Dade: Teachers won’t be at school until Aug. 14, and students won’t come back until Aug. 19, according to the state data.

Students in the vast majority of districts will start Aug. 12, but a handful will open Aug. 13 and 14.

The last school day for seniors in 2020 ranges from May 7 to June 3, according to the state data.

The number of days in the school year ranges from 174 to 181. But most districts have 180 days — the traditional school year.


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