Iowa Senate approves bill that would let districts decide school start date

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa school districts could decide when to start the academic year under a bill that has won approval in the Iowa Senate.

The Senate voted 32-17 in favor of the legislation Tuesday. School start dates became a key issue for the Legislature after state education officials said they would stop issuing automatic waivers that allowed districts to start early.

Supporters say providing districts with control is best for students, while opponents argue early starts can hurt tourism.

The bill will now move to the House, where lawmakers in the House Education committee have approved a bill that would require classes to start on or after Aug. 23, with a stipulation that school districts cannot seek a waiver to begin sooner. Senators said they hoped to soon resolve the issue.

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