The Wausau School Board is asking state legislators to change a law requiring Wisconsin public schools to start after Sept. 1. The law was created years ago in response the tourism industry’s desire to extend the summer season for families and retain teenage workers.
Lawmakers have been debating a change to allow schools to decide themselves when to begin. The school board on Monday voted unanimously to send a resolution to Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers supporting the change.
School board president Lance Trollop says starting school prior to Sept. 1 can have a number of advantages. “It could allow us to coordinate our school calendar better with the start of fall athletic and other activities,” Trollop says. “An earlier start date might also allow us to build in more inclement weather days to avoid the school year being extended farther into June.”
And there are years when a Sept. 1 start date is inconvenient. “Take next year for example: September 1st is a Friday, followed by Monday being Labor Day, so we aren’t starting until September 5th.”
If the current law is repealed, a change would not take place until the 2018-19 school year.