Mississippi school start dates would be delayed in bill

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi public schools would be required to start on the third Monday or later under a measure moving through the Legislature.

The state Senate voted 29-21 for House Bill 707 Tuesday. Under the bill, the earliest possible school day would be anywhere from Aug. 15 to Aug. 21.

The House had mandated a start date of the fourth Monday of August or later. The amended bill returns to the House for more work.

The Gulf Coast Business Council, a business group, is pushing the measure. The Gulfport-based council says the measure would let families spend more money taking vacations, boosting the economy.

Opponents say the state shouldn’t interfere with a district’s ability to set its calendar. They also warn a later start date means school lasting later or fewer holidays.