Repeal of ‘Kings Dominion law’ fails again

Hank Silverberg,

WASHINGTON – Don’t change your vacation plans. There will be no big change in school calendars in Virginia

The effort to repeal the so-called “Kings Dominion law” that prevents local schools from opening before Labor Day has died again. The State Senate Education and Health Committee killed the repeal of the law Thursday with a 9-6 vote.

A key vote against the law came from Sen. George Barker, D-Fairfax, who has expressed concern about the loss of sales tax revenue if the schools open before Labor Day. One percent of that sales tax money goes to schools across the state.

But Fairfax County School Board Chairwoman Jane Strauss says the decision not to repeal the law is frustrating.

“School calendars really should not be held hostage by the tourism industry” she says. “We have a tremendous need to rearrange our calendar to be more in sync with the rest of the nation.”

Educators say starting after Labor Day puts their students at a disadvantage on national tests like the Advanced Placement exams.

Many school districts across the state have been able to obtain waivers to open early mostly because they are in areas that get more snow and they need the extra days to make up for snow days.

Strauss says they will try again next year to get the General Assembly to repeal the law.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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