The superintendent of the Sioux City School District is one of the education leaders who is opposed to Governor Terry Branstad’s call for the state Department of Education to come up with new rules that would prevent school districts from starting school before September. Current state law requires schools to start in the week in which September first falls, but nearly all districts receive waivers to start earlier. Sioux City superintendent, Paul Gausman, says the waiver system is working because it allows districts to decided their start time at the local level.
Gausman says his district starts school early so they can have their semester final exams before the Christmas break begins.
The governor argues the tourism industry loses millions of dollars when schools start early, as families stop traveling and teenagers quit their summer jobs. There have been attempts to address the issue in the legislature, but lawmakers have failed to take any action.