School Board votes not to start school before Labor Day
February 11, 2016
The FCPS School Board voted not to apply for a waiver to start classes before Labor Day in the 2016-2017 school year at its most recent meeting. However, according to a tweet from at-large member Ryan McElveen, the School Board will consider applying for the waiver for the 2017-2018 school year.
According to a 1986 Virginia law, schools in the state cannot start session until after Labor Day weekend. The law has been nicknamed the “Kings Dominion Law” because it gives extra time for the tourism industry in Virginia to have one last hurrah, especially the theme parks like Kings Dominion.
The only loophole for schools is if they miss, on average, eight or more days due to severe weather. These schools can apply for a waiver to begin before Labor Day. FCPS qualified for
the waiver this year. However, the School Board elected not to apply for it, but will reassess for the 2017 school year. Near-by counties Prince William and Loudoun both applied for and received the waiver.
“I do understand why they chose to not implement the change this year,” government teacher Mark Faust said, “because many people had already made plans that would be difficult to pull back or change for that last week of August that students would be going to school if we made the change. In general, I think we need to move in that direction, and as soon as possible, but I understand that next year is difficult to achieve.”