SAN ANTONIO — Certain schools in San Antonio will now be starting the school year earlier than usual, potentially causing a major impact on our city's economy.
Beginning this year, the San Antonio Independent School District will be starting its school year on Aug. 14 -- two weeks earlier than most other school districts. The district falls under a special title allowing them to do this, but those who work in the tourism industry say the change comes at a cost. That cost is estimated to be about $44 million lost per week in the San Antonio and New Braunfels area for every week the date is moved up, according to Ashley Harris with Visit San Antonio.
In 2007, Texas law required schools to start no earlier than the fourth Monday in August. But for certain schools who are a "district of innovation" that law doesn't apply.
"Gives public school districts more flexibility for different strategies we want to put in place for academic achievement," said Leslie Price with the San Antonio Independent School District.
The San Antonio school district falls under that title and will start two weeks earlier this year. While the district believes it's more beneficial for students academically because first semester testing will be completed before winter break, those in the tourism industry would argue that it's "actually one of the most critical factors of tourism in San Antonio," according to Harris.
Most of the other districts will be starting Aug. 28, allowing for 14 extra days of money making for the city.
"Student test scores have remained steady throughout the past decade that we have had this fourth Monday in August school start date. So I would argue it's working why not leave it as it is," Harris said.
The San Antonio school district sent home a survey to parents and faculty asking for their input on the start date. The majority voted for Aug.14.
The South San Antonio Independent School District has also applied to become a district of innovation and will be starting the new school year on Aug. 21.