Destinations Wisconsin Opposes Changes to Wisconsin School Start Date

Destinations Wisconsin opposes the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) proposed Administrative Rule Change to broaden the exemptions to the September 1 school start.

The current administrative rule already grants several exemptions from the K-12 September 1st school start date including specialized programming for gifted and talented classes, remedial education, migrant programs, early college credit program, new learning strategies to address a school in need of improvement and holding school year-round.

If these rule changes are implemented as proposed, it will have a negative impact on Wisconsin’s tourism economy and Wisconsin families during August, the second highest month in generating visitor revenue in Wisconsin according to a 2016 report by Tourism Economics.

Also, local school boards and districts have great flexibility in setting their school calendar, including selecting holiday breaks, setting staff development days, and determining school hours.  Recent advancements in technology and virtual schooling make this flexibility even greater.

DPI’s request to allow virtually any kind of exception from a school district to start before September 1st is against the law’s intent. Wisconsin’s economy will lose tourism dollars and important high school employees.  Families will lose well-deserved vacation time when Wisconsin weather is at its best.


Date: 02/26/2024