TFI District Leaders,
As we close the third week of the 2019 Legislation session, there are now no less than FOUR bills that would weaken the hard-fought school start date COMPROMISE that was agreed to only a few short years ago. Those bills are HF 78 , HF 185 , SF 129 and SF 130 . These bills are all alive until at least the first legislative funnel on March 8th.

The tourism industry has a number of important legislative goals to push for this year, from some clarifications on hotel/motel taxes to funding for marketing to supporting CAT, trails and other vital programs. We need to send a strong grassroots message on school start date so we can put the issue to rest and work on other issues!

Please take some time to recruit a handful of people to weigh in with the Governor and your legislators about this right away!! A sk them to leave the school start date issue alone. (Or better yet, tell them to move it to after Labor Day).

You can find your legislator by putting your home address into the site HERE . Feel free to contact more legislators than just the ones that represent you; Senate emails can all be found HERE and House emails can all be found HERE .

Send Governor Reynolds a message HERE .

A couple of points to remember:

1.) T he August 23rd school start date was the result of a decades-long debate about how early school should begin in Iowa. While most of the tourism industry wanted to see a post-Labor Day start date, the industry COMPROMISED with the school lobbyists by agreeing to the 23rd.

2.) NO DATA exists that says earlier start dates lead to better student performance. Conversely, we know that the days the tourism industry loses in August COST the state revenues that they could be using for education.

3.) The other side makes the case that earlier start dates better align with college schedules. However, the current law actually give colleges greater predictability statewide. Prior to the law passing, school starts in Iowa ranged in some cases from the 1st week of August to after Labor Day.

4.) The other side makes the case that they are unable to complete their fall term prior to Christmas break. However, there are numerous school calendars out there that disprove that argument. A couple examples exist HERE and HERE.