Renewed Call to End School Year Early

Lawmakers consider law that forces late-starting school year

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    Most kids can get behind Virginia representative Jim LeMunyon's proposal: end the school year earlier!

    But they might not like part 2: Start the school year earlier!

    LeMunyon, a Republican who represents Fairfax and Loudoun in the House of Delegates, would like to strike down what’s known as the Kings Dominion Law, which prohibits school districts in the Commonwealth from opening before Labor Day.  He made his case in a recent Virginia-Pilot op-ed.

    The law’s opponents argue that it leads to students sitting in a classroom and learning nothing near the end of the school year. Much of what students’ learn is tied to standardized tests, which are administered at the end of May.  Some legislators also argue that allowing schools to open earlier would give teachers more time to prepare the students for those exams.

    LeMunyon also says his proposal would save Virginia cash: he said the state spends $50 million per day to keep schools open.

    Tourism officials support the current Kings Dominion Law. They fear that repealing it would rob them of revenue, generated at the end of August.

    The law doesn’t impact about a quarter of all Virginia schools. They got an exemption from the rule, when they applied for it.