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Tourism industry fights August school bill

MADISON (WRN)   The tourism industry is fighting a proposal in the Legislature that would allow Wisconsin public schools start the fall semester before September 1st.

Tom Diehl of the Wisconsin Dells Visitors and Convention Bureau is a former President of the state Tourism Council, and played a role in negotiating the current law. He says the restriction is crucial to the tourism industry because it extends the summer travel season for families.

Diehl says the restriction also benefits seasonal businesses that employ students. He says many of those employers would be forced to close their doors earlier if their work force has to return to classes earlier.

Diehl says the current rule was actually a compromise, since tourism leaders wanted to keep school from starting until after Labor Day. He says the tourism industry will try to educate legislators again on why it’s a bad idea to let schools go back to starting classes in August.