Several states have required K-12 public schools to start after Labor Day in an effort to aid the tourism and hospitality industry. However, little is known about how these policies impact educational outcomes. We examine the impact of Virginia's post-Labor Day school start law on high school retention and graduation rates. We use a difference-in-differences model to exploit exogenous variation in school division start dates. Our results show small differences of up to three weeks have little effect on high school dropout and graduation rates. Our findings inform the debate on post-Labor Day school start laws and compulsory attendance age cutoff laws.
Original Publication Citation
Komarek, T. M., & Walker, J. K. (2020). Does starting school before Labor Day affect high school retention and graduation: Evidence from Virginia's Kings Dominion Law. SSRN eLibrary, 12 pp. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3607569
Komarek, Timothy M. and Walker, Jay K., "Does Starting School Before Labor Day Affect High School Retention and Graduation: Evidence From Virginia's Kings Dominion Law" (2020). Economics Faculty Publications. 41.