February 17 2004

[b]Lines from Lucy [/b]

Posted by Kim
South Dakota summers are too short

By Lucy Halverson

According to the calendar the first day of summer is June 21 and the last day is September 21. But, in the reality of our day to day lives, summer starts the day school lets out in May and ends when school starts in August.

In 1984, South Dakota voters passed an initiated measure that stated school could not start until after Labor Day. Unfortunately, eight years later legislators repealed the law. South Dakota requires that schools be in session for 179 days. Most schools in the state have set their start dates around August 22, give or take.

Rep. Tom Hennies, R -Rapid City, sponsored a bill in this years legislature, HB1240, that would have required all South Dakota schools to delay the start of classes until after the September Labor Day holiday. The bill was killed in committee by a vote of 10-4. Education officials believe local school boards should decide when school starts.

The South Dakota Tourism industry and the South Dakota Retailers Association supported this bill. They have their reasons. They depend on young workers to fill desperately needed positions in their businesses during the state's busiest time of the year.

I have my reasons, too. South Dakota summers are too short! Let summer last until Labor Day. Keep kids in school until Memorial Day and don't cut the last few lazy days of summer from our busy lives.

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Lyman County Herald readers now have an opportunity to voice their opinions on current issues by clicking onto the Herald's website at www.lcherald.com and voting in the weekly online poll.

Last week's online poll asked readers to vote their opinion concerning the start date of school. The legislature says school start date is a local issue. Should school start prior to Labor Day? At the time of this writing the vote was 14 no to 4 yes votes, which indicates 78% of those voting think school should not start until after Labor Day.

Don't miss next week's online poll when readers are asked, "Should GF&P officers be required to get landowner permission before entering private land?" Log on to vote yes or no.


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