Kings Dominion Law still in Effect

Despite qualifying for the waiver to begin school in late August, FCPS decides to open after Labor Day

Students in all Virginia city and county school districts get a few more days of summer fun thanks to the 1986 law that makes it mandatory for school to start after labor day in September as opposed to many D.C. and Maryland schools that begin in late August.

School districts can apply for a waiver to start the week prior to labor day if they miss an average of eight school days due to weather issues or various other sudden circumstances each year. In previous years schools in Winchester City, Fauquier, Frederick and Clarke county received waivers and sent students to school a week earlier.

Despite qualifying for the waiver for the 2016-17 school year the FCPS school board voted to still give students and staff the extra week of summer.

“It’s nice to have that last long weekend. Starting the school year with a four day week is a nice

ease back into it and then you can really get back into the swing of things,” Business teacher Howard Dwyer said. “Labor day is the actual last day of summer to me.”

The law, often called the “Kings Dominion Law”, was created as a part of an attempt to give the tourism industry one extra week of long lines to help support them, financially, through the winter months.

“Starting school a week early wouldn’t be ideal,” junior Tehya Moss said. “When I think of the beginning of the school year I think of September, not August.”

The law survives through large theme parks, such as Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens, donating large sums of money to fund candidates and Political Actions Committees statewide. Some theme parks have also been known to give free admission to political supporters of their cause.

In prior years it has been reported that over $226,000 has been donated to fund campaigns for supporters. Foregoing the sale of Busch Gardens by Anheuser-Busch the beer giant contributed nearly $1 million to local Virginian politicians and political parties.

“I like summer so I want it to be as long as possible,” sophomore Grace Hatch said, “so we should always start in September.”