Ohio Senate Introduces Bill to Start School Year After Labor Day, End Around Memorial Day

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Ohio lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would change the schedule of Ohio public schools, starting the academic year after Labor Day.

Senate Bill 34 was introduced by state senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), and the Dayton Daily News reports the Ohio House Education Committee recently held a second hearing on the proposal earlier this week.

Manning first introduced the bill in 2016, and Representative Steven Arndt of the 89th House District additionally proposed beginning school after Labor Day in House Bill 549 in March.

According to both of the bills, schools opening before Labor Day would need to hold a public hearing before voting on the matter.

Supporters of the bill claim schools could take fewer days off within the year, or add minutes to the school day, so that a post-Labor Day start could still line up with a roughly Memorial Day finish, citing tourism, travel and summer employment as benefits of the later school year.

Critics of the bill, like democratic state rep. Dan Ramos says, the schedule change would push high schools out of alignment with Ohio universities, which could hurt students taking college credit courses as well as educators taking courses needed for continued certification.

Democrat Catherine Ingram suggested students are at a higher risk to forget academic material over a longer summer break, and Springfield Republican Kyle Koehler said unless all surrounding states aligned to the same schedule, the move might not make much difference in bringing out-of-state tourists to Ohio.

A recent Ohio Travel Association poll showed, according to the Dayton Daily News, that 66 percent of Ohioans were in favor of the bill passing.

Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan are all also looking at similar legislation within their respective states.