The South Dakota House has rejected a bill that would have prevented public school districts from starting classes before the last Monday in August.
The measure on Thursday failed on a vote of 29-40.
Opponents say school districts should decide when classes start in the fall. They say districts might choose an early start date to help students improve their academic achievement and prepare for required testing.
Supporters argue that the bill would have allowed students to gain additional summer work experience and helped tourist businesses keep summer employees longer.
South Dakota residents in 1984 voted in a referendum to move school start dates past Labor Day. Lawmakers say the Legislature repealed that measure in 1992.
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