Tourism Industry Influencing Delayed School Start Dates

A battle is underway in the Springfield, Missouri area in regards to school start dates. According to Representative Jeff Knight and Silver Dollar City General Manager Brad Thomas, the first three weeks in August used to be significant tourism weeks for Missouri. But as schools have been starting earlier and earlier, thousands of dollars have been lost in the tourism industry. Knight proposes pushing start dates to combat this problem—and the first day of school could come little later next year under a bill awaiting the governor’s signature this summer.

On the other hand, the school district is fighting the change in start dates, as starting later would affect semester end dates, breaks and schedules, as well as take away each district’s individual freedom to choose their start date.

According to the Springfield News-Leader, the legislation passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities, and Brent Ghan, the deputy Executive Director of the Missouri School Boards’ Association, said his organization is assuming the bill will have no problem getting Gov. Mike Parson’s signature. (Springfield News-Leader, 06.29.19)