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Local legislator hopes to change public school calendars

State Rep. Chuck Bayse prefiled a bill Friday that would keep local districts from starting school more than 10 days before Labor Day, the first Monday in September.

If that bill became law, Columbia Public Schools would have to move it’s traditional start date from the second week of August at least one week later. Several other school districts in mid-Missouri would have to do the same including Jefferson City, North Callaway, South Callaway and Boonvile Public Schools. Southern Boone School District already starts its school years fewer than 10 days before Labor Day.

CPS board member Jonathon Sessions said he doesn’t believe this bill would be in the best interest of Columbia.

“For us, what’s here works and restricting our ability to create a schedule that follows the needs of our community is a restriction of local control that I don’t think is the right move for the state legislature,” Sessions said.

Bayse, R-Rocheport, said this bill would give students and their families a better opportunity to enjoy summers together.

“The start date is just getting earlier and earlier every year and it’s just making it tough on families to spend the summers together,” Bayse said.

Bayse said if the bill passes it won’t take effect until the 2020 school year.

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