Dubuque Residents Largely Oppose an Earlier Start to the School Year
In lieu of news breaking regarding Iowa lawmakers considering moving up the start of the school year to early August, I asked folks on the Y105 Facebook page what they thought of a shift in the school start-date. As it turned out, many were adamantly opposed to it.
Let me back up for a second. Per KWQC, two bills, known HSB 585 and HSB 603, propose starting the school year no sooner than August 23rd or August 25th. The bills do clarify that the start date would be dependent on what day of the week the dates fall on the calendar in a specific year.
An additional third bill, SF 2010, proposes starting school after the final day of the Iowa State Fair. I took to Facebook to gauge listener/reader opinions, and the overwhelming majority were either negative on the idea or brought up one common denominator: air conditioning:
Absolutely not. Most schools don’t have air conditioning. - Brittany
They'll just cancel school because of the heat anyway, so what's the difference? - Adam
If it’s too hot for kids to go to school, are teachers and lunch workers expected to go in and endure the heat? - Ben
Most of our schools do not have air conditioning. As a parent with a child who has Asthma this concerns me. My son already has a hard time when school starts each year. Will there be a budget to add air conditioning to the schools that don't have it? - Maggie Jean
All quotes per comments on the Y105 Facebook page.
I think Ben brings up a very valid point. Students have had several days off this winter due to the extremely cold temperatures that plagued the Tri-States for a solid portion of January. Imagine if it's in the upper 90s/low 100s in Dubuque for a stretch of time in late August (not uncommon, I may add). If that happens, the school year gets extended for kids across the region anyway.
Some voiced a simple solution: starting after Labor Day. Even when I was in school, I felt that solution made too much sense. My start-dates for middle/high school were usually around the final week in August, then during the second week of school, we'd always have Labor Day Monday off anyway. Starting that subsequent Tuesday seems like the workable solution.
Chelsea Lerud Executive Director, of Iowa Travel Industry Partners, said that change of any kind could have negative repercussions:
We know there’s over 120,000 visitors that are coming to the state every day, in august, those visitors are spending over $22.36 million, while they’re here in the state that is $22.36 million every day. So even just a move up of the school start date by four days would be a loss of $89.4 million in revenue that the state would receive. That includes sales tax revenue, local option, sales tax revenue, that is usually highly important for our schools to have in their funding streams. - Chelsea Lerud Executive Director, of Iowa Travel Industry Partners, per KWQC
Photos: Dubuque Farmers Market 2023
Gallery Credit: Tom Ehlers