In the 2010-11 school year, 95 percent of Ohio schools started classes before Labor Day. House Bill 191, introduced in April 2011, would change that.
HB 191 would limit the school year to Labor Day through Memorial Day, and also change state laws about the minimum time students actually have to spend in school, from 182 days to 480 hours (for half-day kindergarten) 960 hours (for kindergarten and grades one through six) and to 1,050 hours (for grades seven through twelve). The changes would take affect starting with the 2012-13 school year.
Limiting the school year is a relatively new idea: Usually, when it comes to adjusting the school year, the idea is to extend it, education researcher Ken Gould told StateImpact Ohio. That’s because there is a growing body of research that suggests students forget much of what they learned in the previous school year during summer vacation. But it’s not unusual for non-academic interests to play a key role in making decisions about education, he said.