SPONSOR:

Sen. Hocker & Rep. Gray

Sens. Bushweller, Cloutier, Delcollo, Lawson, Lopez, Marshall, Pettyjohn, Richardson, Simpson, Ennis; Reps. Briggs King, Collins, Hudson, Jaques, Q. Johnson, Keeley, Kenton, Miro, Ramone, Schwartzkopf, D. Short, Outten

DELAWARE STATE SENATE

149th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SENATE BILL NO. 18

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REQUIRING THAT EACH SCHOOL YEAR BEGIN AFTER LABOR DAY.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

WHEREAS, The School Start Task Force was created to study the advisability of starting each school year after Labor Day; and

WHEREAS, The School Start Task Force concluded that a post-Labor Day start to the school year would be minimally disruptive to the educational system; and

WHEREAS, The School Start Task Force concluded that a post-Labor Day start to the school year could potentially deliver substantial economic benefits to many Delawareans; and

WHEREAS, The School Start Task Force found that Virginia, a state that requires public schools to start after Labor Day, would lose $369 million, including $104 million wages, by a shortened summer. The School Start Task Force found Maryland, a state that is considering mandating public schools start after Labor Day, would generate $74.3 million in new economic activity and $7.7 million in new state and local tax revenue; and

WHEREAS, These economic benefits would occur in Delaware, where the tourism industry is the 3 rd largest private employer in the state and visitors generated $2.2 billion towards the GDP in 2012; and

WHEREAS, a majority of members of the School Start Task Force voted to recommend that the State of Delaware require that each school year start after Labor Day.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section I. Amend Chapter 41, Title 14, Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 4138 Start of the School Year

(a) School districts shall not begin their school year until after Labor Day.

(b) Vocational-technical school districts shall not begin their school year until after Labor Day.

(c) Charter schools shall not begin their school year until after Labor Day.

Section 2. This Act shall become effective as of the 2018/19 school year.

SYNOPSIS

This Act requires public schools to begin their school year after Labor Day. There have been many economic impact reports done that show a positive impact from starting public schools after Labor Day. A report by the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association estimates that $369 million would be lost if schools were not required to start after Labor Day. This includes $104 million in wages and $21 million in state and local taxes. Maryland is considering similar legislation. A study of Maryland found that pushing the start of school back would generate $74.3 million in economic activity and $7.7 million in new state and local tax revenue.

Author: Senator Hocker