Back to school for some students today

Back to school for some students today Click to Enlarge Photo:

Aug 25, 2014 at 7:24 am

(UNDATED) The first day of school for some Minnesota students is today, a week before the rest of the state.

Minnesota state law mandates that schools start after Labor Day - the first Monday in September - unless a district gets a waiver from the Department of Education for summer construction or flexible learning provisions.

This year, nearly 50 of Minnesota’s 339 school districts have received a waiver.

The start of the academic year has been an issue in the Minnesota Legislature for years. The state’s educators wish the Legislature and state’s tourism industry would stop dictating the school calendars, saying giving districts flexibility in scheduling would allow them to improve academic performance and test scores.

Proponents of the Labor Day law, like the tourism industry and the Minnesota State Fair, support it because it makes the summer vacation season longer.

Resort owners in northern Minnesota and the State Fair’s general manager are among those who say business would take a hit if more schools started before the holiday weekend.

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