The Clintonville Common Council passed a resolution showing their support for the school district, by urging state legislators to eliminate the mandatory Sept. 1 start date for public schools. They argue that the date has deprived school boards to set calendars that best serve the students and their communities.
Recently, the Clintonville Board of Education also passed a measure requesting the repeal of the law, which was passed in 2000 and backed strongly by the tourism industry. Clintonville Superintendent Tom O’Toole argues that practices for fall sports already begin in August, and many of the student-athletes are no longer going on vacations.
“We already start football games in the middle of August, so we have three football and probably three volleyball matches before school even starts,” O’Toole said. “Come the first of August, those kids are back practicing already, so their school is essentially started.”
Clintonville is not the only city in support of repealing the law. Some point out that support for starting school earlier has never been higher.
“There’s a number of cities and lots of lots of school districts this year that have passed resolutions and have sent it to legislators and the governor, and we’re trying to make progress on it,” O’Toole explained.
Although support may be high for repealing the law, O’Toole isn’t sure how high of a priority it is for the state legislature. A bill repealing the measure was introduced in February.
State Senator Luther Olsen, who has the Wisconsin Dells in his district, has already made it known he’ll vote against any bill that brings forth the measure of changing the start date.
The Sept. 1 date only applies to public schools.