The Kentucky Senate has approved a bill that would give public school districts an incentive to start school in late August.
Senate Bill 50, sponsored by Sen. Chris Girdler, R-Somerset, was approved 33-4. Several lawmakers said they appreciated that the bill was a compromise.
Originally, the bill proposed to set the statewide opening date for schools no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26. Many Kentucky districts return to school in early August so the academic year can end by Memorial Day. Girdler has said the early August start hurts tourism in the state.
Under the bill that the Senate approved Tuesday, school districts that agree to start no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26 will be required to have the standard 1,062 instructional hours a year, but they will not be required to have 170 days, as they are now. Districts could extend the school day by a minimum half an hour, as long as students didn’t attend more than seven hours a day.
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The revised legislation also would create a calendar committee in each district that would make recommendations to school boards.
Senate Bill 50 now goes to the House.