Va. Senate Rejects Bill to Let Schools Set Own Starting Dates

March 2, 2012

Virginia public schools will continue to be required to get the state Department of Education's permission if they want to open before Labor Day.

The Senate Education and Health Committee voted 9-6 Thursday to kill legislation allowing all public school divisions to determine their own starting date. The committee rejected the Senate's version of the bill by the same vote last month, so the measure is dead for this year.

Public school administrators supported the bill, which was part of Gov. Bob McDonnell's education agenda. The tourism industry, which depends on student workers all summer and through the Labor Day weekend, opposed the measure.

Under current law, school divisions have to obtain a waiver from the state to open before Labor Day. More than half have done so.

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