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Bill aims to end mandate requiring Michigan public schools to start after Labor Day

Beenish Ahmed
Michigan Radio

A new bill in the Michigan House would allow public school districts to decide their start date for the school year. Right now, many Michigan school districts are eligible for waivers to start school before Labor Day. The bill would repeal the mandate so those waivers wouldn't be needed.

Matt Schueller works with the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators.

He said the bill would give schools more time to make up missed days at the end of the year, which can sometimes extend the school year until mid-June.

“There's a recognition that the earlier that we have the option to start, there's more flexibility for dealing with school day closures,” Schueller said.

Opponents say starting school before Labor Day disrupts the tourism industry in Michigan, and prevents students with jobs from working for the full summer.

Schueller said that even if the bill becomes law, school start dates would still be up to the districts.

“This bill would not mandate that schools start before Labor Day. It literally just says that it's an option and I think we're emphasizing that it's really up to, you know, the local school districts and the community,” Schuller explained.

The bill has now been referred to the Michigan House Education Committee.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
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