Start date debate revived

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Start date debate revived

On a 9-3 vote, members of the House Local Government decided to approve a bill that would revise provisions on a petition to refer a school board’s start day decision.


House Bill 1164 would require a petition to have five percent of the total number of registered voters voting in the previous general election, which essentially lowers the number of signatures needed to refer a board’s start day decision.


The bill is a hog housed version of HB 1164, which was previously killed by the committee before being recalled. HB 1164 is a new spin on a bill killed earlier in session that called for school start dates to be set no earlier than the final Monday in August.


Rep. Christine Erickson, the bill’s sponsor, said the bill allows for parent’s “voices to be heard” on school start dates.


Currently, state statute allows for voters in a district to refer all start dates set before Labor Day.


ASBSD opposes the bill.


Proposed versions of HB 1164 called for the lowering of the percentage of voter signatures needed – from five percent to 2.5 percent – and extending the petition window from the time of publication of the board’s decision from 20 to 90 days, before an amended version of the bill was passed.


HB 1164 now moves to the House floor for debate.


For updates on the bill, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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