Missouri governor signs law changing school start date
COLUMBIA — Governor Mike Parson signed legislation changing how early schools can start their fall semester in 2020.
The new law, HB161, states that school districts cannot begin class more than 14 days prior to the first Monday of September. Currently, school districts cannot begin class more than 10 days prior, unless the districts complete an exemption process to start earlier. The new law removes that exemption process.
While technically the letter of the law allows school districts to start four days earlier, in actuality it will likely lead to a later start date for school districts in Missouri.
Supporters of the law say that pushing back school start dates could help Missouri's tourism industry by allowing an extra summer vacation week.
School organizations, however, have criticized the change and argue that local school boards should have the power to decide when school starts.