When is the first day of school in Kalamazoo, Calhoun and Van Buren counties and why is it so late?

Most schools in West Michigan will begin with either a half day or full day on Tuesday, September 4th.  Many Indiana students hit the books for their first day of school as early as August 6th.  Why does Michigan start and end the school year so late compared to the rest of the U.S.?

Would you believe it's the law?  According to Michiganvotes.org, the law passed both the Michigan House and Senate in 2005 "to prohibit public schools from starting the school year before Labor Day."

Studies have shown increased test scored from students starting school earlier in the year.  However, Michigan's economy gets a huge benefit from the late start according to theatlantic.com,

...potential classroom benefits come into conflict with the economic realities of states like Michigan, where the later start date has meant a boost of over $20 million in tourism dollars, according to a 2016 analysis by the Anderson Economic Group. In addition to added revenue from things like hotel rooms, many of the businesses catering to tourists rely on high-school students to pick up the slack, according to the study. Those same businesses are left short-staffed when classes resume prior to the busy Labor Day weekend, the study concluded.

Do you think it's time to drop with post Labor Day first day of school law and get on track with the rest of the country?  Let us know in the comments.

 


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