The Atlantic

Why School Still Starts After Labor Day in Michigan

The calendar is designed to bolster the economy—but some worry it hurts kids.
Source: Brian Snyder / Reuters

For Tracy Horodyski, a teacher in the Kenowa Hills school district in Michigan, a new district schedule has her returning to the classroom on Monday, August 28—her first pre-Labor Day start in more than a decade. But rather than wishing for a longer vacation, the change comes as something of a relief.

After more than two months away, Horodyski, an elementary reading and literacy specialist and Michigan’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year, said she’s eager to get back to school. The students she’s talked to, including her two young sons, say they’re looking forward to seeing friends, meeting their new teachers, and getting back into a more regular routine.

“And their parents are definitely ready by now for them to go back,” she said with a laugh.

In some states, the question of school calendars is being considered through an economic lens—not just with an eye toward their students’ potential as future members of the workforce but on the impact a from Michigan’s requirement, after demonstrating that an earlier start to the academic year is necessary to meet other academic mandates.

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