Recently, House Bill 1063, also known as “The Kings Dominion Law” was passed by vast majority. This controversial bill would allow school systems to begin their school year before Labor Day. Over the past few decades, school systems were unable to begin school before Labor Day unless they received a waiver from the Department of Education.
This bill has been opposed primarily by the tourism industry. Opponents stated that the state would suffer financially from the decrease in workforce provided by teenagers. However, proponents of the bill argue that an earlier start of school would help systems and their students prepare for the rigor of the state’s standardized tests. It would also prevent a waste of time and money at the end of the school year upon completion of these assessments.
The passing of this regulatory policy would obviously create a change in the way in which most school systems “do business”. However, our current state of recession coupled with a desperate need for educational reform, only leads me to believe that a “system change” is needed to ensure that our students are successful.
Are we really saying that the tourism industry needs students to keep their workforce afloat? What about adults currently without jobs? I think that it would only make sense to hire unemployed adults to maintain this industry and allow our children an opportunity to get a jumpstart on their education. Perhaps, we need to look at rearranging our vacation schedules to meet the needs of the school systems instead of rearranging our school systems to meet the needs of our tourism industry.