A bill that could force Dickson County schools to open no earlier than the fourth Monday in August is scheduled for debate in committees of the General Assembly this week. Under the bill sponsored by Sen. Steve Southerland of Morristown and Rep. Dale Carr of Sevierville, schools that are not currently operating on a year-round calendar could not start any earlier than the fourth Monday of August starting in 2014. Dickson County School Board member Steve Haley, the board’s Tennessee Legislative Network liaison, recently said under the current rules a year-round calendar is defined as having less than eight weeks for a summer break. Dickson County schools currently take an eight-week summer break, which is classified as a modified calendar and not a true year-round calendar. That means if the bill is passed, Dickson County schools would have to change the start of the year from Aug. 1 to the fourth Monday of August, forcing major changes on the current calendar format. The change is being pushed by members of the tourism industry, who want to delay the start of schools so students remain available for summer employment longer and to extend the peak tourism season. The proposal is scheduled for debate today in the House Education Subcommittee and tomorrow in the Senate Education Committee. The Tennessee School Boards Association is opposing the bill, saying local school boards should have the right the set their own start dates.