WRA has worked for many years to secure and protect a consistent K-12 school start date in Wisconsin to "Save our Summers" so restaurants can take advantage of late summer tourist spending and to keep valuable teen workers available later into August, when visitor traffic is the highest.
School districts currently have to commence classes on September 1 or later, unless they have an "extraordinary circumstance" such as building construction or weather-related building damage. Schools that are consistently not meeting state education standards may also begin early, so they can add additional instruction time - there are only a few schools in the state where this applies. State law and administrative rule are specifically restricted in order to ensure a uniform school start statewide.
In February, 2024, the WRA submitted testimony opposing the Department of Public Instruction's proposed changes to state administrative rule to increase the number of exceptions that allow school districts to begin earlier in August. Some of these reasons include adding additional breaks to the school year or mitigating summer learning loss. Click here to read the WRA's testimony.
The WRA is opposing the Department's proposed changes to the rules. School districts already have the tools necessary to schedule more breaks in the school calendar or to extend the school year into June to mitigate summer learning loss. Because June weather is not as desirable for vacationing in Wisconsin, keeping kids in school in June is not as harmful to the tourism economy as starting in mid-August. Plus, most schools in Wisconsin do not have air conditioning - June is consistently cooler weather-wise compared to August.
Questions? Contact Susan Quam