New Law Allows Virginia Schools to Open 2 Weeks Earlier

Virginia public schools can now decide to start classes as early as two weeks before Labor Day, after the state approved new rules amending a decades-old provision known as the "Kings Dominion Law."

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed two bills into law that would allow Virginia schools to open up to two weeks before Labor Day, while also providing students a four-day Labor Day weekend. 

This law will go into effect July 1, replacing the "Kings Dominion Law," named after Virginia's King Dominion amusement park.

That law, dating back to 1986, prohibited schools from opening before Labor Day unless they qualified for a waiver.

WTOP reports that for the last 20 years, the amusement park has lobbied for a later school start because it has benefited from vacationing families and working teenage students.

That law ensured the park could benefit from economic activity in the region during the last weeks of the summer.

Additionally, Northam signed into law a bill that would allow Stafford County, Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburg City Schools to open on the same day in the 2019-2020 school year. 

In Maryland, a similar bill was passed on Monday, when the Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to let local school boards decide when school starts.

A final vote from Senate on Monday sent the measure to Governor Larry Hogan, who opposed the bill. However, the House and Senate passed the measure with enough votes to override a veto by the governor.

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