Education Committees Pass Bills Relating to School Start Times

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DES MOINES, Iowa – This afternoon the Iowa Legislature took on the issue of school start dates.

Last month, the Iowa Department of Education said it would no longer automatically grant waivers to district hoping to start before September 1st.

“Everyone wants to ask when the perfect time to start the school year is, but this bill really isn’t about when to start the school year, it’s about who should decide when school starts,” said State Senator Tod Bowman.

The Senate Education Committee passed a bill this afternoon that would allow each school district to set its own start date as long as it’s after July 1st.

The House Education Committee passed a bill that would get rid of the waiver process and allow districts to start no earlier than August 23rd.

Representative Greg Forristall introduced the bill on the house side.

He supports local control, but doubts the governor will.

“This time the governor is holding the trump cards. In order to prevent going strictly with the law that’s on the books now, I thought we should negotiate some middle ground,” Forristall told Channel 13 News.

Jimmy Centers, the communications director for Governor Branstad’s office sent us this statement on the matter.

“The governor will allow the legislative process to work and carefully review the matter should it pass both chambers of the Iowa legislature.”

The bill will move on to the house and senate floors next week.


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