A lot of public schools are already back in session, and even more will go back in the next week or so. That’s too early, according to Kentucky State Senators Damon Thayer and Chris Girdler, who plan to file Senate Bill 129 very soon. That bill would require public schools to begin no earlier than the “first Monday closest to Aug. 26,” essentially pushing the starting date to September, close to Labor Day. If passed, the bill would go into effect a year from now.
Why bother with all that?
If passed, Thayer said the bill will have a tremendous impact on Kentucky’s tourism and agriculture industries without affecting the quality of education for our students.
“I’ve been mulling for about 10 years but a visit to Lake Cumberland last August really spurred me to decide to pursue it with Sen. Chris Girdler,” Thayer said. “Our parks are empty in August, except for a few visitors from places like Michigan and Indiana, which have much later school start dates.”
But what parks in Kentucky could benefit from more local tourism in the coming years…?
Oh. Right. The one promoting Jesus that’s currently being constructed.
“Grant County is set to become a major tourist destination due to the presence of the Ark,” Thayer said. “But there won’t be many families from Kentucky visiting in August if we continue with the current calendar.”
So, basically, a couple of state officials want to override school calendars — which are normally decided by district leaders — in order to make sure the Noah’s Ark Theme Park makes as much money as possible. (Because if you’re going to miseducate kids with faulty “science” anyway, who really cares about altering their schedule?)
Silly me, thinking Republicans wanted less government interference.
If community leaders really believe a revised calendar can improve tourism prospects, they are free to work with school officials to make those changes. There’s just no reason for the State to force it upon them.
Thayer and Girdler tried passing the same bill earlier this year, but it didn’t go anywhere. Hopefully this version will meet the same fate.