Record number of Michigan schools to begin early - WNEM TV 5

Record number of Michigan schools to begin early

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM/AP) -

A record number of school districts in Michigan are bypassing the state's 11-year ban on starting school before Labor Day and opening their doors to students in August.

The Detroit News reports that more than 120 school districts across the state have received waivers from the Michigan Department of Education that release them from the requirement to start school after the late summer holiday.

Marissa Devone said she doesn't want to head to class just yet.

"Because you don't have more time to play with your friends than just studying and stuff," she said.

Marissa's school is not one of the Flint schools starting early, but the fifth grader understands why some schools are starting earlier.

"Not remembering anything because of summer break," Marissa said.

Steven Tennicliff, with the Genesee Intermediate School District said this year Davison, Beecher and some Flint schools have received waivers to start before Labor Day.

"We know that there is summer slide in those situations and that means in those situations those students are having to kind of back track and relearn what they left off learning at the end of last school year," Tennicliff said. "I think it shows that there are a lot of school districts, local communities that are making the decision and that is starting before Labor Day or move to a balanced calendar is what's best for their local districts and the students in their community."

Tennicliff said he believes the trend will keep going up across the state.

A bill was introduced by Republican Sen. Marty Knollenberg in March seeking to allow Michigan schools to open before Labor Day without state approval. State officials say the bill remains on the Senate floor and isn't expected to impact the upcoming school year. Knollenberg said Friday that the bill is in the best interest of the state's schoolchildren.

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