RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia General Assembly has passed a bill allowing schools to start up to two weeks before Labor Day.
Previously, schools were not allowed to start before Labor Day unless they met certain criteria that would allow them to ignore the rule. This was meant to promote tourism, particularly for attractions such as Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens.
One criterion was that a school division had to have been closed an average of eight days per year during any five of the last 10 years because of severe weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures, or other emergency situations. In effect, that could prompt school districts to close on days where the weather wasn't that severe, so they could meet this criterion.
School systems that choose to open before Labor Day would be required to close the Friday before Labor Day and on the Monday holiday.