Ohio may mandate that school can’t start until after Labor Day

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You may remember when the school year didn’t start until after Labor Day.

Now two bills in the Ohio House and Senate would make that the norm again.

They would mandate that school couldn’t start until after Labor Day.

At least one school superintendent in the Ohio Valley is not a fan of the idea.

Bellaire Superintendent Darren Jenkins says this idea surfaces every couple of years.

He says it’s pushed by the tourism and entertainment industries.

Once school starts, the gate attendance at places like amusement parks goes down dramatically.

But Jenkins says starting after Labor Day is a holdover from an agrarian society when kids used to work on their parents’ farms all summer.

“At least here at Bellaire, it would certainly cramp our style,” said Jenkins. “Because we are at the mercy of the state with regard to our mandated testing schedule and assessment schedule. And there’s the potential for inclement weather later in the winter and understanding that we have a minimum year to get in.”

He says they have to teach 1001 hours in the school year.

And he says he won’t put buses on the roads in icy or dangerous conditions just to fulfill those hours.

Jenkins hopes that before the legislators vote, they get some input from educators rather than just the entertainment industry.

Proponents of the bill say that a majority of the public supports a later school start.

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