An amendment to Manassas Park's city charter that would have been a work around a law that prevents classes from starting before Labor Day, failed to pass in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate.
Senate Bill 1245 came up four votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed to clear the Virginia Senate on Tuesday, school officials said.
The bill was introduced by Manassas Park and Manassas Sen. Charles J. Colgan-D.
If passed, the bill would have amended and reenacted 5.6 of Chapter 912 of the Acts of Assembly of 1993, which provided a charter for the Manassas Park related to its schools, meaning the schools would have been allowed to set their on class schedules.
An identical bill was introduced in the House of Delegates this year by Del. Bob Marshall of Manassas Park, but it too failed.
The bill also failed last year.
School officials said they appreciate the efforts by Marshall and Colgan.
While the bill failed to pass during the 2012 legislative session, school officials told Manassas Park City Council in December that they were hopeful about it passing this year.
The district’s small size, the proportion of at-risk students who receive free or low-priced lunch, the number who receive English language instruction and the need for more instruction time to prepare for the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, could motivate lawmakers to change the charter, school officials said.
School officials in neighboring Manassas have also expressed a desire to see their schools start before Labor Day and made that clear to Colgan and De.l Jackson Miller during a meeting about legislative priorities in December.
The repeal of the so-called Kings Dominion law has been constantly debated over the years. The tourism industry says the law prevents amusement parks and other recreational venues from losing their workforce before Labor Day, while educators see it as a hindrance for education.
What do you think? Should classes start before Labor Day in Manassas Park? Tell us now in the comments.