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February 20, 2015 06:02 PM

Ballot Language For Sioux Falls School Start Date

Sioux Falls, SD

We are getting a first look at the ballot for the Sioux Falls school start date. Voters will decide whether to start class before or after Labor Day.

Voters have two choices.  A "No" vote will push the school start date in Sioux Falls to the day after Labor Day.  A "Yes" vote will uphold the School Board's Decision to set the school start date for next three years. Those dates are listed as August 17, 2015, August 22, 2016, and August 21, 2017.

The Sioux Falls School Board has offered a compromise that still starts school before Labor Day, but would push the date to the fourth Monday of August.

Though August 22, 2016, is the fourth Monday of the month, the other two dates on the ballot are not.

"The compromise that is being talked about right now is simply being talked about. The ballot will be what the ballot will be," Kent Alberty, Sioux Falls School Board President, said.

The Lincoln County and Minnehaha County State's Attorneys crafted and approved the ballot language listing the three August dates because those are the same dates listed on the petition to push the issue to a vote.

"We felt it was important to draft the explanation that really reflected the exact language and the intent of what was passed on those petitions and that's what we drafted," Aaron McGowan said.

If voters choose to vote "Yes" and uphold the school board's decision, control of the start date remains up to the School Board.

"It also allows us to make the adjustment either that fourth Monday or as late in August as we can practically make it," Alberty said.

So, Alberty said the three dates in August may not end up being the actual school start dates. He said the Board would still have control to set the calendar and incorporate the compromise if that gets approved. Of course, if people vote to have school start after Labor Day, Alberty said that is what will happen.

"As I've said before, we will gladly live with that calendar and figure out how we can make it work the best," Alberty said.

Keep in mind, voters are not voting on the three August dates listed. They are voting whether to start school before or after Labor Day. Election Day is Tuesday, April 14.

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