Kings Dominion


RICHMOND – Lawmakers from across Virginia are pushing a half-dozen bills this legislative session to let public schools start classes before Labor Day.

Delegate Kaye Kory, D-Falls Church, is among legislators sponsoring bills to repeal Virginia’s “King’s Dominion law,” which prevents local schools from opening before Labor Day unless they get special permission from the state.

Kory’s proposal, House Bill 1491, “makes local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year.” Currently, school boards can start classes before Labor Day only if they show “good cause” (such as a history of snow-related school closings) and get a waiver from the Virginia Department of Education.

Kory, who has been a PTA leader in Northern Virginia and a member of the Fairfax County School Board, said schools should have the power to set their academic calendars.


HB 1491 would not cost any additional money.  The number of days in the school year would remain the same.   There are many arguments for allowing school systems to set their own calendar rather than being held back by the “King’s Dominion law.”  The most compelling reason for allowing the change would be that most of our students do not work in a tourist related industry over the summer.  It seems to me that those localities that depend on high school students for staff should partner with the various theme parks and Williamsburg to make the necessary accommodations and leave the rest of us alone.  There are lots of time it looks like PWC and Manassas kids are going to go til the 4th of July.

Opinions?  Parents?  Educators?  Weigh in here please.

12 Thoughts to “HB1491 would allow schools to start before Labor Day”

  1. Ray Beverage

    Going to school down in Jacksonville NC all those years ago, school ended the first week of June, and then back around the third week in August. The “Cotton & Tobacco” cycle which was good since kids that lived on farms could help, and it also provided some summer employment for teens to chop cotten and crop tobakkie as the old sayings go.

    Now down in NC, they have tied most start and end dates to align with State Colleges (both Community & 4-Year) which I find to be a very logical approach. The purpose of the local schools include preparing kids for college, so why not align with the secondary school schedule. I always thought the King Dominion Rule was dumb.

  2. I used to go to school after labor day and still ended at the end of May, first week of June. Maybe if the class hours went back to 7:45 to 3:15, they wouldn’t need to end school on June 14th.

    On a personal, selfish note, its really handy to be able to go to Florida and Georgia for vacation during the last two weeks of August and skip the crowds.

    1. The kids are in school for 7 hours a day. That seems to be enough.

  3. @Moon-howler
    I was just remembering my days in school. Started earlier and ended later.

  4. Did you have an hour for lunch?

    I can’t remember my school hours as a child. LONG is all I remember.

  5. Censored bybvbl

    My school hours were like Ray Beverage’s. I doubt that most southern schools had to plan on losing a few days to snow.

  6. Censored bybvbl

    hours = days

  7. Lady Emma

    @Ray Beverage “Now down in NC, they have tied most start and end dates to align with State Colleges (both Community & 4-Year) which I find to be a very logical approach.”

    Except when you have kids both in state colleges and in public school, like we have had over the years, and you need to drive four hours each way to move the college kids in or out. That could be logistically difficult.

  8. punchak

    @Lady Emma
    Can’t they drive and move by themselves? U-Haul and such, you know.

  9. BSinVA

    Moon: I had the Comcast technician out to diagnose my slow internet connection. We talked and he said that when he was living in northern Iraq, he made his living as a math teacher. I asked why hadn’t he stayed with a teaching career in this country. He explained that in Iraq, students sit quietly, straight in their seats, and pay attention to every word the teacher utters. He went on to say that he would not be able to teach in an American classroom because of the manner in which American students behave in the classroom. This doesn’t have anything to do with this topic but I thought you would understand.

    1. oh yes. The man has standards. American kids act like fools in school. Their parents defend them, and we are one of about 5 countries with the death penalty. 30,000 people a year die of gun shot wounds. Every kid in America is allowed to go to school for 13 years minimum, and we have a drop out rate of about 25%.

      These same dumb asses think they can walk in and grab up a decent paying job.

      Oh just stop me…..

      Oh the comcast guy also probably had to take a bunch of rinky dink classes to get certified that have not one damn thing to do with teaching math….He figured it wasn’t worth the wear and tear on his nerves.

  10. Lady Emma

    @punchak We never allowed our freshmen to have a car.

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