Poll: Most Michigan Families Want School To Start After Labor Day

As in past years, Michigan families remain overwhelmingly supportive of starting the school year after the Labor Day holiday, according to a statewide survey by Mitchell Research & Communications.

The survey of 2016 likely Michigan voters, conducted Aug.9-10, indicates that support for the post-Labor Day school start crosses all ages, race, gender, political and geographic segments.

The survey found that 64 percent of voters support the law requiring all public school districts to start after Labor Day with 25 percent opposed. These results stand in contrast to school districts across Michigan that have filed for waivers, allowing them to start schools before Labor Day.

“Families support starting school after Labor Day by more than a two-to-one margin,” said Deanna Richeson, Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association (MLTA) president and CEO.  “Why are schools denying Michigan parents the chance to create lifelong memories with their children? Instead, they’re forcing children into hot classrooms in mid-August when they can just as easily extend the school year longer into June.”

Fifty-six percent of voters support a post Labor Day school start with the school year ending in mid-to-late June. Twenty-nine percent of voters support a mid-August start that has the school year ending in early June.

The poll also found that 64 percent of voters preferred to take their summer vacations during July and August, the two most predictably hot months of the year.  Only 16% of voters prefer taking their vacations in June.

“For decades, July and August have been the most popular months for vacations, producing significant revenues for our industry and the state,” said Richeson.  “Limiting vacations in either of those months does great damage to Michigan.  It limits vacation options for parents, reduces our industry’s ability to generate summer jobs for our youth and unemployed, and decreases tax revenues for state schools.”

MLTA will soon release findings on the economic impact of post Labor Day schools (PLDS) in a study by the Anderson Economic Group.

“That study will confirm what we’ve said for years; starting school after Labor Day is good for Michigan families and good for our state’s economy,” said Richeson.

Tourism is Michigan’s third largest industry. In 2014, tourism generated $19.5 billion in economic activity, well over 214,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in state tax revenue. The majority of these impacts are generated during the summer, especially in the top-revenue producing months of July and August.