Perhaps to piggyback upon that - the 8 hour rule should be done away with altogether, and that 13 hour limit should apply across the board. This means that those double-blocked 90 minute classes that some schools enjoy take away 450 minutes, so you're left with just 330 minutes a week out of school practice, whereas a school with a traditional 45 minute class bell schedule gets the balance of the time in after school allotment. Standardize it across the board the whole way.

(Or maybe we could just finally admit that it's show design, budget, and parent support/demographics that make up 95% of the difference at the state level, and adding/taking away an hour here or there will just make the top schools run more efficiently, not make the second tier schools have a "more level playing field")

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I get that we can get more done during full days than we can once school starts, but what you are proposing would actually shift the imbalance the other way. If you say X days before school starts, then the school with the earlier start has an advantage. For the sake of nice round numbers, let’s assume a year that 8/1 falls on a Monday. This means a school with a traditional start date would have 3 full weeks from 8/1 until school starts plus ten weeks of school until the UIL area weekend for advancing classes. In the same year, if school B starts school two weeks earlier and is also allowed to start 3 weeks before their first day of school, they get the same 3 weeks the traditional school did plus 12 weeks of school until area, essentially giving them two more weeks of class time plus 16 more hours of additional rehearsal than the traditional school would have assuming they both maxed out their allowable schedules.

The only way to get even close to leveling the field would be to have a uniform start date and a limit of 8 hours per week for everyone from the beginning, regardless of when school starts. Even then, a school that starts early would have a slight advantage due to the additional class time. So, maybe the most equitable answer would be a uniform start date with a limit of 13 hours per week (which would be 8 hours plus the 300 minute weekly limit for time spent on extracurricular Practice during the school day) until school starts and then 8 hours once school starts. Theoretically, that would give everyone the same maximum amount of allowable time, with the only variance being the individual bell schedules from school to school, which is already unequal.

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In my opinion, it would make sense for the August 1st start rule to be changed.

There is such a wide variance in school start dates that it is unfair to some schools, including mine.

It would make more sense for the rule to be set to an X amount of days before school begins instead of a blanket August 1 date. This would mean every school gets the same amount of days to have full day rehearsals and level the playing field.

Thoughts? Am I missing something?