Mississippi school year start date bill before Gov. Phil Bryant again

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant hasn’t decided whether to sign a bill that would erase a school calendar law he signed two years ago, a top aide said Thursday.

“If the Legislature’s intent is to revisit something they had already agreed upon, he will review whatever they ultimately send him,” Bryant spokeswoman Nicole Webb said in an email to The Associated Press.

She was responding to a question after the House on Thursday removed a procedural block from Senate Bill 2571. The bill will go to Bryant in the next several days, then he’ll have five days to decide whether to sign or veto it.

It proposes repealing a law that says schools can start no earlier than the third Monday in August. The law was enacted in 2012, with Bryant’s signature, and the later start date is set to take effect for the first time during the upcoming school year.

Gulf Coast tourism officials pushed for the later date, saying it would provide an economic boost by giving families more vacation time in August. Most schools have been starting in early to mid-August.

House Education Committee Chairman John Moore, R-Brandon, said superintendents pushed legislators to keep the start date as a local decision.