State Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon) has introduced Assembly Bill 144 which would allow some schools to start before September 1. Only schools that have more than 20% participation in Advanced Placement (AP) exams would be allowed an exemption from the Sept. 1 start date. Ott estimates that equates to about 32 districts.
The Sept. 1 start date mandate was implemented with the support of the state tourism industry which has long argued that starting school in August hurts their bottom line on Labor Day weekend. They will likely lead the opposition to this bill as well.
Ott says the proposal is not aimed at hurting tourism and many students are back on campus before Sept 1 for extra-curricular activities. He also points out that it is not a mandate but simply gives the school board the authority to make that decision.
State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) is the Senate co-author. The WASB supports this bill, based on WASB Resolution 15-02, adopted in January.
Read More: CBS 58 (Milwaukee)