ST. PETER — MSBA recently surveyed member school districts regarding the 2015 legislation to allow an early school start date. Our results showed one-third (33 percent) of the districts will be starting school before Labor Day.
The recent survey received responses from 233 member school districts (out of 333) — a 70 percent response rate.
Of the districts starting early, 68 percent are using the one-time exemption for fiscal year 2016 to start before Labor Day. The remaining 32 percent are starting before Labor Day because of new construction.
Although two-thirds are starting after Labor Day, many district officials commented that they would have started early if the legislation wouldn’t have been held up in the Legislature. Because of the late passage of the exemption legislation, school districts were forced to adopt their calendars under the old statute. Changing calendars at such a late date would cause too great of a disruption to the plans made by students, parents, and teachers, district officials said.
“We believe the survey clearly shows school districts need to have local control to set learning calendars that best benefit students,” said Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind.