Monday, March 09, 2009

Now Where Did I Leave Off? Sorry that's been a couple of weeks since I last blogged, but things are starting to hit the fan at the Legislature and I thought I better start reporting. Last time I made an entry, Representative Norton's pre-Labor Day start bill passed the House K-12 Education Policy Committee and was re-referred to the House Finance Committee. Today, the results weren't as favorable to the education community, as HF 195 was dealt a close defeat by a hand-vote with 11 votes in favor and 13 votes against.

The arguments have been the same for the past twenty-some years, when pre-Labor Day start days were prohibited without special legislation. The resort industry and the State Fair don't want a pre-Labor Day start and school districts want the flexibility to start that early, especially in situations like the next two years, when Labor Day falls on the 6th and 7th of September. Losing a whole week in September pushes the school year well into June for most districts and that can cause problems on the other end of summer.

What the prospects for the bill are at this point is anyone's guess. It could be amended into the omnibus K-12 policy or finance bills in the House or Senate, but if it gets in, there will certainly be attempts to pull it back out again. What this probably does, however, is put a kabosh on districts that we trying to plan one calendar with a pre-Labor Day start. Districts can still plan two calendars and wait for the end of the legislative session to see what happens with this bill, but I wouldn't bet the farm (or the school bus) on a pre-Labor Day start.

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