NO CHANGE: School Start Date Rules Stand

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The rules regarding when Iowa school districts can and cannot start their school year are staying as is.

The Iowa Department of Education held a meeting Thursday to discuss the law.

Currently, Iowa schools are supposed to start within the week of September 1st. However, most schools get around that by applying for a waiver to start classes earlier.

With a vote of five to three, the law will stay as is.

“As higher expectations are being placed on Iowa schools in regards to curriculum and student achievement, school districts need the flexibility to set their school calendars to best fit their local community and ensure that students are in school,” Ames school board president, Dan Wooden said.

Tourism groups and the Iowa State Fair were lobbying for a September 1st start date.

“There is no process, we talk about the process is working… there has never been a process we don`t know who, why, what where the decision was made not to follow the state law we respectfully ask you to follow the state law and the rules that exist in the state of Iowa,” Sate Fair lobbyist, Brian Johnson said.

Several parents and school districts came forward saying individual districts should have the flexibility to decide what is best for their district.

“I think we as a state have really tried to move forward in making education a priority and I think putting this restriction on school districts would be a step backwards,” Indianola parent, Kariann Voigts said.

Last year, 340 out of 348 districts received waivers.


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