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Northwoods schools support new bill for local control in school start dateSubmitted: 03/01/2017

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

WISCONSIN - The school year will start awkwardly for students in Rhinelander next year.

Like some other communities, school will start on a Friday. Students will then take off Labor Day weekend before coming back the next Tuesday.

Enforcement of a 2000 state law led to the odd calendar in Rhinelander.


"You're starting up, handing out books, going home for the weekend, then coming back," said Rhinelander School Board President Ron Counter. "That's because of the way the calendar lines up next year. September 1 is on a Friday."

To protect the tourism industry, Wisconsin law bans public schools from starting before September 1.

But on Monday, lawmakers formally introduced a bill that would repeal that ban and let schools choose their own start date.

"In the past, it's pretty much been a non-issue," Counter said. "There is some support down in some of the suburbs, [and] the middle of the state, non-tourist areas."

Counter said this is the strongest push he's seen for repeal.

Northland Pines, Three Lakes, and Tomahawk are among the other Northwoods schools pushing for the change.

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