Tourism industry pushes for legislation to reopen schools after Labor Day, K-12 Lobby opposes

Lawmakers are weighing an end to a ban on schools starting after Labor Day. It's creating a fierce battle between education and tourism lobbies. 

The tourism industry is advocating for legislation to allow schools to reopen after Labor Day. However, the K-12 lobby is actively opposing the proposal.

If the ban is overturned, it could mean vacation comes a little sooner for kids enjoying their summer. That's not a bad thing, says Peter Spadafore, the vice president of the Michigan Association of School Boards.

"It might not be popular but I do believe the education of our children is probably a little bit higher on my concern list than vacations," he said.

As state lawmakers prepare to vote on the issue, the ongoing debate has sparked talks of a possible compromise between the two sides.

Justin Winslow, the president, and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, said that starting school earlier would mean many families would miss out on the opportunity to take their last vacation.

The Democratic Party currently holds the majority of votes required to repeal the mandatory Labor Day law. This would grant local schools the autonomy to decide when to commence classes.

The tourism industry has come forward with a compromise proposal that seeks to balance the interests of all parties. The proposal suggests that schools remain closed on Mondays and Fridays while focusing on Tuesday through Thursday in August.

The K-12 lobby, however, is firm in its stance against compromising. Spadafore stated that they are currently looking at just the repeal of the Labor Day mandate and are not considering any compromise.

The House Education Committee will vote on the issue this week, and the debate continues on whether to go to the beach or send kids back to school in August.