Ohio lawmakers push for later school start dates

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In the land of "make believe" in Parma, the dream of walking a tightrope becomes a reality. And very soon, parents are hoping the reality of beginning the school year after Labor Day may no longer be a dream.

One parent told us, "My daughter is always complaining of the heat."

Senate Bill 34, introduced by State Sen. Gayle Manning, wants the beginning of the school to start after Labor Day.

Shelyn Hunley, a parent and school nurse, says the heat is the biggest problem for kids. "We've had to put in place to cancel school for heat days much like we do for snow days."

In Parma and other districts, some schools have air conditioning and others don't. But it's not just about the heat.

Mom Yvonne Marcus says when she was in school, she started after Labor Day. Even though her kids attend an air-conditioned school, she says, "It just seems like if it were after Labor Day, we would have a little bit more time. It just feels like the summer is faster and faster."

The summer season is so short and the cold weather is so long, families want to spend more time together when the weather is nice.

If the legislators have their way, school would start in September, because in August, tourism for the state is still a big deal.

Sawyer Etchell is all for it. He is 11-years-old. "It feels like a longer summer and a longer school."

A study about changing the school year was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Ohio Travel Association. Approximately 93 percent of parents agree to change the school year while only 65 percent support the bill.

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