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Virginia Legislator Tackles Kings Dominion Law

Kids' summers may end earlier

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King's Dominion and other leisure industries in Virginia, don't want the start of the school year to cut into their late-summer profits.
David Blaikie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonvscanon/4512627489/
King's Dominion and other leisure industries in Virginia, don't want the start of the school year to cut into their late-summer profits.

The leisurely August days that Virginia students enjoy before they head back to school after Labor Day may be numbered. School leaders in the state are preparing for a fight in the upcoming General Assembly session as one legislator is preparing a bill that would allow schools to open before Labor Day. Currently, school districts are prevented from opening in August due to a state provision.

It’s known as the King’s Dominion Law and it was created in the late 1980s at the request of King’s Dominion Amusement Park and the hospitality industry as way to make sure that the first day of school didn’t eat into late summer profits. Under the current rules, school districts can apply for waivers to open before Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday of September, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to open whenever they want.

Alexandria, for example, abandoned an attempt to get a waiver earlier this year when it became clear that the Virginia Board of Education wouldn’t approve it.  Now, Senator-elect Adam Ebbin is preparing legislation for the upcoming General Assembly session that would provide flexibility to school districts to open at their discretion.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association says the industry will oppose the bill again this year.

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