A recent piece of legislation, house bill 1063, has passed the house and been sent to committee in the senate. The bill proposes to allow school divisions to choose when they want to start school. Currently schools must begin their school year after Labor Day unless a waiver is granted. This change would create regulatory policy, granting schools a privilege that they currently do not have.
The new policy would allow more instructional time before tests, such as the advance placement or International Baccalaureate exams, are given. Many divisions, including mine, currently start before Labor Day by taking advantage of a waiver that is based on missed days of schools because of inclement weather. The change in policy will allow them to continue to start early even though snow days have been sparse over the past few years.
Since the legislation simply returns control over the school calendar to the locality, the benefits out way the costs. By starting earlier, schools will be guaranteed more instructional time regardless of the weather. The impact on tourism is the main cost. Because the summer holiday historically ends on Labor Day, the tourist industry fears that they will lose student workers and revenue. This disadvantage could be tempered by the school divisions near tourist attractions choosing to start after Labor Day.