NEWS STORIES

Bill wants school districts to pick start dateSubmitted: 09/13/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - September means the start of school for kids in the Northwoods.

State law requires schools to start after Labor Day. But some state legislators think school districts should pick the start day.

Crandon Elementary Principal Jamee Belland believes it would give her district more flexibility.

"I think in this area we would maybe move the start day up a little bit," Belland said.


The law, along with snow days, usually pushes the school year well into June. An earlier start would fix that. Belland thinks it would also help students prepare for state required tests.

"The PALS test already starts on Monday," Belland said. "First grade has to give that test and then within another week kindergarten and the other grades fall in line, so it's early to be testing to where maybe a few more weeks would give us ample time."

But tourist based businesses worry they would lose teenage workers during the busiest part of the season. Republican State Rep. Rob Swearingen also owns a dinner club outside of Rhinelander. He thinks a change would hurt businesses.

"We really only have that eight weeks to make hay," Swearingen said. "So when you take that second or third week potentially out of our workforce it really is a struggle."

Republican Sen. Jim Ott introduced the bill. He believes it won't hurt tourism because elected school boards would make the changes.

"Changing the law would not require that schools to start before September 1st," Ott said. "It would just simply give the local school board the right to start whenever they wanted to."

But many business would rather have their workers in late August than early June. Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lara Reed fears tourists might not be around if a cold spring stretches into summer.

"Weather and never knowing, that thought kind of makes you a little nervous to think about shifting it that direction," Reed said.

The bill sits in the Wisconsin State Assembly Tourism Committee. Many businesses hope it goes no further than that.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

WAUSAU - A local restaurant owner hopes his customers can taste and see how much he loves making traditional Vietnamese noodle soup.

Payao Lo is originally from Laos. He moved to Wausau and opened his Vietnamese restaurant, Pho 76, seven years ago. He's been serving the community ever since.

+ Read More

THREE LAKES - People living in Three Lakes should start running their water.

The Three Lakes Sanitary District wants everyone to run a pencil sized stream of water from one faucet.

It should run from the cold faucet 24 hours a day.

The sanitary district will let people know when they can stop running water.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - Disabilities advocates say Gov. Scott Walker's budget cuts could be devastating to programs that help Wisconsinites live independently.

Changes to the popular Family Care program and other cuts could save the state $33 million over the next two years. But questions remain as to how programs for people with disabilities would work.

Claire Yunker, spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, says the changes are aimed at preventing abuse in the existing system and creating a more coordinated care regimen.

But Daniel Idzikowski, executive director of Disability Rights says his organization was not consulted about Walker's plan. He says it would drastically restructure Family Care, the program that administers personal care and long-term care services to elderly, disabled and injured Wisconsinites through Medicaid.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Each year, nearly 800,000 people experience a stroke, and it's the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

A Northwoods man who's had six strokes found a way to help others who've experienced them.

Rick Bozic found that writing poems helped him cope with his health problems.

He published a book of poems about a month ago.

He had a book signing on Saturday.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - It's the fifth year for the ski-snowshoe event.

The event is a fundraiser for both the Minocqua J1 school, and Arbor Vitae-Woodruff school. More than 350 people went this Saturday.

Event organizer Judy Jurries says that's a lot more than last year.

+ Read More

ST. GERMAIN - One person got hurt in a snowmobile crash this morning.

The crash happened near highway 70 in St. Germain.

Officers say a 19-year-old Beaver Dam woman went off the trail and hit a tree.

The woman had to be airlifted to Wausau hospital.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The exhibition, called Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar opened Saturday.

It's a touring exhibition from the National Guitar Museum.

The executive director of that museum led a gallery walk Saturday.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here