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A New Entrant in the School Start Debate

RockIn those States where the subject of when School Start falls on the calendar is still a contentious one, the familiar combatants are typically the Tourism and Hospitality Industry on one side and School Boards and Administrators on the other. Teachers are rarely in the mix (but, in my experience, generally disagree with the School Administrators' push for an earlier start). And, in States where Tina Bruno is working, parents are a meaningful participant in fighting for a later start.

City Councils? They're typically content to hang on the sidelines and stay out of the fray. But, not the Village Council in Geneva-on-the-Lake OH. They recently passed a resolution urging the School Board there to return to a post-Labor Day start. And, passed it unanimously. 

Mayor Dwayne Bennett said area residents need to understand that the county's tourism industry is growing...and manufacturing is not. He said starting school in mid-August puts the brakes on many families’ incomes...not just student workers. “We’ve met with the school board a few times to explain all of this but, so far, nothing has been done to change things. We’re hoping they can at least understand why businesses and student workers need a later school start date.”

The resolution holds that “businesses (that) earn their living from May to October incur serious losses from the exodus of student workers.” It also said that an August start date has shown “no educational benefit to students, discouraged local employers from hiring students and threatened to undermine and erode the health of businesses, which support and pay school levies.”

For a Village Council, this is a pretty sophisticated take. It also suggests to me that those of us in the fight may not have considered asking our local government to weigh in on a topic that is critical to the community they serve.

Can't hurt asking.

Bill Geist

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