New bill would let schools start before Labor Day

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School districts would be allowed to start before Labor Day, under a bill being considered by the state legislature.

Sheryl Presler is the superintendent of the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District.

She says putting the power in the hands of districts is important.

“It’s always been a local decision before the law was implemented a several years ago. And I do think local boards of education can make that decision better than lawmakers in Lansing.”

But it’s being met with opposition from the tourism industry.

The Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association said starting school early could have a negative impact on northern Michigan businesses.

Deanna Richeson is with the association.

“They have a drastic drop off after Labor Day. There are many many businesses in the communities that are dependant on tourism, that get 70 percent of their annual revenue in July and August.”

Richeson said many businesses also rely on high school students for summer work.

Under the bill, schools would not be allowed to be in session Mondays or Fridays during August, to allow families time for a late summer trip.

The bill is now awaiting a full senate vote.