Bill would make Indiana schools start after Labor Day

Indiana schools would not be allowed to start the academic year before Labor Day under a bill that has cleared a Senate committee.

The Senate Education Committee voted 6-3 for the bill on Wednesday, which would change school calendars starting in the 2013-2014 school year.

Republican Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel said it makes sense to start school after Labor Day because families would have more summer vacation time together. Supporters also say the switch could reduce the cost of cooling classrooms in August. School boards of year-round schools could opt out of the changes after holding public hearings.

Opponents say decisions about school calendars should be left up to individual districts, and that mandating a start date takes away that local control.

The bill now moves to the full Republican-controlled Senate for consideration.

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