- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota House committee has passed a measure that would prevent public schools from starting classes before the last Monday in August.

The State Affairs Committee voted 8-5 to advance the bill.

Supporters say it will allow more time for students to gain additional summer work experience, attend the State Fair and take vacations with their families. Tourism industry representatives say the bill will be good for business. Some supporters hope to push all school start dates to after Labor Day.

Opponents counter that individual school districts should decide when classes start in the fall. Officials representing schools say education should be the top priority and starting school earlier allows more time to prepare for mandatory testing.

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