Should School Start After Labor Day? Educators and Businesses Disagree

Dec 5, 2018

 

Business interest estimate that teen workers lose around $1 million in wages by having to return to school before Labor Day.

A group convened by the Governor to study whether schools should start after Labor Day says that despite concerns from educators, establishing a uniform school start date in September is feasible and would boost the state's economy.

(Scroll down to read the commission's full report)

Currently, school years are required to have 180 school days, but the start date is determined by individual school boards in collaboration with the teachers unions. About 85 percent of New Hampshire school districts start after Labor Day.

In August, Governor Chris Sununu issued an executive order establishing a "Save our Summers Commission" to study the issue.

Reprentatives to the commission from the education field said pushing school start dates after Labor Day would not improve educational outcomes, but would mean more school in June (an estimated three days), schedule conflicts with Tech schools and schools in neighboring states, and complications with contract negotiations.

But the business representatives to the commission say there’s a big economic benefit to starting after labor day.

They attribute a dip in tourism dollars at the end of August to the start of school, when high schoolers leave seasonal jobs and families end vacations.

They estimate tourism dollars would increase by between $14-20 million if the state’s schools started after Labor Day.

The NH Farm Bureau Federation also supported a later school start date.

Governor Sununu praised the report, saying it will “serve as a roadmap for policymakers” in the new year.