Missouri Governor Signs law Pushing Back School Start Date

Back to school, school buses

Back to school, school buses

August is when everyone starts thinking about school again, it’s been a long summer and September, along with a new school year, are arriving quickly. For many, it feels like school begins earlier every year, shortening the tourism season and causing frustration in the tourism industry. Because of all of the school activities, nobody has time for summer traveling or concerts according to Tom Abbett, Director of Business Development at the Ozarks Amphitheater in Camdenton. So when Missouri Governor Parson signed a bill [1] which moves back the start date of the school year- no exemptions- the tourism industry fully backed his decision. However, some communities believe that this will only make kids finish school later and that local communities should decide when their schools begin.

Start of the School Year

In the past, Missouri law has required that public schools start no sooner than 10 days before Labor Day, however they could start earlier if they held a public meeting and voted to begin sooner. All of that is going to change in 2020 though, with a new bill signed into action on Thursday that states that schools must begin no sooner than 14 days before labor day, no exceptions.

The summer months have been getting shorter and shorter as some communities across Missouri start school as early as the second week of August. “Because everybody goes back to school and they don’t plan their vacations past the first weekend of August,” said Abbett, “because football starts, band starts, all of that stuff, we lose about 3 to 4 weeks of August.” [2]

Not Everyone is for It

However, some people are against this new law, stating that local authorities should get to decide when school starts. “The people who have local control of the school districts and should have local control of the calendar,” said Mike Reid with the Missouri School Board Association. “After a hearing and determining what the people in the community want, then they set their calendar at that point in time.” [3]

This law will go into effect in the 2020-2021 school year.


  1. ^Governor Parson Concludes 2019 Bill Signings | Governor Michael L. Parson.” 11 July 2019, governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parson-concludes-2019-bill-signings?fbclid=IwAR08j6eDtzBFuOrjrjGHk7OFtsL73rJJ86BmVGl9sRUZCexmqe0tr9gdk5U. (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Delaney, Ryan. “Missouri Lawmakers Set Later Start Date For Schools.” 12 July 2019, news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-lawmakers-set-later-start-date-schools#stream/0. (go back  ↩)
  3. ^Havranek, Andrew. “Bill restricting school start date heard in Mo. Senate Committee.” 12 July 2019, www.ky3.com/content/news/Bill-restricting-school-start-date-heard-in-Mo-Senate-Committee-508346521.html. (go back  ↩)

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