Following multiple days of early dismissals, some are wondering if it would be better for South Dakota to wait until after Labor Day to start classes.
Rep. Charlie Hoffman, (R) Long Lake, brought up the topic on Facebook by telling people how they can petition to have their local schools start after Labor Day. That opened a lengthy social media discussion.
"I'd like to get a number of people from across the state giving me their opinion. We need to do a lot of research," Hoffman said.
Hoffman wants to find out if the State would bring in more money with schools starting after Labor Day. He thinks it would for the following reason. If more places remain open through the holiday, more visitors would spend money which would add to the State's tax revenue.
"I'd like to have the discussion based on the revenue department coming up with what would we gain," Hoffman said.
Eureka Superintendent Bo Beck says he understands arguments on both sides. Wanting local control, some districts might not support a state mandate to start after Labor Day.
"There're different situations for every school district," Beck says.
Beck has worked in multiple schools and can think of reasons an early start would make sense in one, while a late start would make sense in another. Still, he'd like to see the numbers Hoffman is calling for before deciding what's best.
Hoffman doesn't think he'd bring forward a bill requiring a post Labor Day start statewide but he still wants to hear from people.
"I think the discussion might be more valuable than actually having the bill pass or fail," Hoffman said.
Hoffman contacted the Legislative Research Council to verify voters have spoken on this topic multiple times in the past.
In the 80s they said wait until after Labor Day to start school. In the 90s legislators said local school boards could vote to start before. In 2006 voters turned down a measure that would have required schools to wait until after August to start.