school start after Labor Day

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Should school start after Labor Day?

Sep 06, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

Gov. Christopher Sununu wants the state Legislature to enact a statewide policy requiring New Hampshire public schools to open after Labor Day.

"I am strongly considering a proposal to change the dynamic of our education system in a way that works better for our families and for our economy," Sununu said in an interview with the Union Leader. Click here to see more information.

Sununu will work with lawmakers to file a bill for consideration in the 2018 legislative session.

No current state law or policy mandates when the school year starts, only that it lasts 180 days. It is up to individual school districts to decide the start of their academic year.

Labor Day, which became an official federal holiday in 1894, is observed on the first Monday of September. In some cases, the holiday falls relatively early in the month. Next year, for example, it falls on Sept. 3. However, there is also a potential school start later in September. In 2020, Labor Day is Sept. 7.

According to Sununu, starting school before the holiday has a negative economic impact because teen workers leave seasonal jobs to return to class, just as the busy holiday weekend is approaching.

"We were seeing a drop off dramatically in business not at the end of August but by the middle of August as families were cutting back on their late summer vacations leading up to Labor Day," Sununu said in support of the measure.

Opponents say that a later start to the school year means a later end to the school year, assuming the complete 180-day calendar. Classes that now end in mid-June could end in late June, impacting teen workers at the beginning of the summer tourist season.

The earlier start to the school year also builds in a buffer for snow days -- typically five that don’t have to be made up. But a snowy winter could pile up the snow days to more than five, leading to a later school year, later still with a start after Labor Day.

Should New Hampshire schools start after Labor Day? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Christopher Sununu
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NH Governor (2016 - present); Executive Councilor (2010 - 2016); Owner/Director, Sununu Enterprises; CEO, Waterville Valley Ski Resort; Strategic Consultant; Environmental Engineer

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