My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Wednesday. In a rare instance, I found myself on the same side of the issue as Gov. Bob McDonnell.
But this isn’t a partisan issue at all. Take a look at the supporters and opponents and you’ll see folks on both sides of the aisle in each group. My Democratic senator, Ralph Northam, is opposed to a change in the law while my Republican delegate, Chris Stolle, supports the change.
One thing I haven’t run across in my research was any statistics on how much of tourism in Virginia comes from the people of Virginia. Given that over 50% of Virginia’s school systems already start before Labor Day, it would be useful to me to know what percentage of the the visitors to, say, Virginia Beach, are from Virginia. In particular, I’d like to know the numbers for the last couple of weeks in August. I’m sure these numbers exist somewhere – I just haven’t found them.
And, although I support a change in the law based on my opposition to the Dillon Rule, I really think opponents of the change are missing something critical: their ability to keep their own school boards on a post-Labor Day start. I think they could save themselves a few bucks and get local school board members to support their position. Because when a bill passes the House on a 76-23 vote, you’re already on the losing end of General Assembly sentiment, the 6-9 Senate committee vote nothwithstanding. Two more yes votes on that committee and the bill would have likely been history.
My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Wednesdays (unless something comes up, in which case it’s Thursdays). You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.Follow @vpaige