Will school starts be mandated? NO.

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Will school starts be mandated? NO.

The debate on school start date ended on Thursday.


House Bill 1093, which prohibits public schools from starting a school term before the last Monday in August, died on the House floor after a 29-40 vote.


ASBSD opposed the bill.


“South Dakota is a local control state,” Rep. Jacqueline Sly said during speech on the House floor opposing the bill. “Leave the calendar up to the school district.”


Supporters of the bill argued it would benefit family vacation planning, agriculture and tourism practices, businesses and allowed the legislature to create a consistent start date standard.


“We want uniformity,” Rep. Charles Hoffman, the bill’s sponsor, said. “That’s what we do. We set standards.”


Rep. Hoffman added that “school boards nor the public had a large hand” in starting school early August, but rather it was due to the early start dates of fall sports.


Of the 151 public school districts, 126 started before the last Monday in August at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.


Rep. Sly argued school districts could determine a start date that would better suit their students and communities than the legislature could for the state as a whole.


For updates on these pieces of legislation, read the ASBSD Blog and our Bill Tracker page.

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