School start date dilemma resolved for Iowa districts

Iowa schools will be able to start fall classes as early as Monday, August 24 this year. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal this morning withdrew his hold on a bill that will set August 23 as the earliest date schools may start fall classes and the governor will sign the bill into law.

“While Governor Branstad created this problem last year, we think it’s been a significant distraction inside the legislature,” Gronstal said. “We’re going to focus now trying to get adequate funding for K-12 education.”

Last December Branstad’s administration told superintendents they would no longer get waivers to start school early — meaning schools would have to start fall classes during the week in which September 1 falls. A bill that sets “on or after August 23rd” as a compromise school start date passed both the House and Senate, but Gronstal objected to the bill’s failure to allow year-round high schools in the future.

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