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Efforts to Repeal "King's Dominion Law" Could Move School Starting Dates

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Efforts to let Virginia schools start before Labor Day and repeal Virginia's so called "King's Dominion Law" are moving through the General Assembly. Efforts to let Virginia schools start before Labor Day and repeal Virginia's so called "King's Dominion Law" are moving through the General Assembly.

RICHMOND (WRIC) - Efforts to let Virginia schools start before Labor Day and repeal Virginia's so called "King's Dominion Law" are moving through the General Assembly.

It's a proposal that some lawmakers and school systems have been fighting for years but some critics say it could cost the state millions if passed.

Many schools across the state start on the Tuesday following Labor Day, the so-called "King's Dominion Law" has been on the books since the mid-eighties.

It requires school systems to start the school year after Labor Day to give families more time to travel, and give tourist attractions across the state more time with student employees.

Delegate Tag Greason has introduced a bill that has passed the house and currently sits in the senate that would let school districts decide when school should start. Currently school systems have to apply for a waiver to start school before Labor Day, a waiver given to almost half the school divisions in the state.

"It has become antiquated," Greason says. "I think it's time for us to re-look at that and move to a system of more control for our localities."

Henrico County pushed to have its school system start in august two years ago. In regards to Greason's proposal, the school sent a statement that says in part:

"We think an additional two weeks of instruction prior to exams that take place at a fixed point in time (SOL's, for example) would provide an advantage to our students."

But the tourism industry has fought the proposal for years saying it could cost the state hundreds of millions in tourism revenue. Greason says families always have a budget for vacations, so he doesn't buy the argument.

"We're going to spend that money on vacation whether we go before or after Labor Day so I don't really see how the impact occurs in the tourism industry."

The bill now sits in a Senate education subcommittee.

If the bill is passed in the Senate, it will have one more hurdle as the governor has come out and said he doesn't support the idea in the past.

 

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