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Later School Starts Could Be Good for the Economy

Sen. Chris Girdler (R-Somerset) says Kentucky’s school calendar is costing the state millions of dollars.

But he has a plan that he believes will address that problem while improving education, increasing tourism, creating jobs, and helping small family farms.

Girdler’s Senate Bill 50 would delay school start dates to no earlier than the first Monday closest to Aug. 26. School districts could request waivers based on their history of inclement-weather closings, and the measure exempts schools with year-round calendars.

A study by the Kentucky tourism industry released last week showed $432 million in losses to the state’s economy when schools start earlier in August. According to the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, nearly 6,000 tourism jobs ended in August and more than $45 million in local and state tax revenues was lost due to the decline in tourism.

Girdler, whose district includes Lake Cumberland and who is not seeking reelection, commented on the study last week on the Senate floor and made a pitch for his legislation to change the school-year start date.

The measure has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee, where it is awaiting a hearing.

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