Proposed law in Ohio could force schools to start after Labor Day

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CLEVELAND-- Reading, writing and arithmetic during the hazy, hot days of summer.

Students in Northeast Ohio returned to the classroom in recent weeks for the start of the 2016-2017 school year. But is it too soon?

Danielle Fitch of Cleveland has four children, and she says one child is already suffering.

“I have a son who has already started school last week. And they have no air conditioning, and he has to dress proper, tie, slacks, the whole undershirt, everything," Fitch said.

Ohio Sen. Gayle Manning said after listening to many parents' concerns, she introduced a bill two weeks ago that would push back the first day for public and private schools until after Labor Day.

"Our kids are in classes, it's 90-degrees, 95-degrees in there, and they're not learning anything anyway because of the heat," Manning said.

As the law stands now, it is up to local school boards to decide the first day of school for their own districts; the Ohio School Board Association opposes the idea of a state-mandated calendar, stressing no one size fits all.

But Manning said local districts will have options.

"A school board can decide to opt out. But they have to have a public hearing at least 30 days beforehand so that parents are aware and they can weigh in on the situation."

State Sen. Tom Patton of Strongsville is a co-sponsor of the bill, which was first introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2012. But the bill died in the Senate.

While the legislators are hoping for a different outcome, we did find some parents who would like the start date to remain the same..

"Too long. They got too much time free. So they should go back to school now, now is a good time? Yeah," Miguel Figueroa said.

As for the bill, Manning said hopefully it will be assigned to a committee in Columbus soon.

She's hoping to get a hearing on the proposal once the Ohio General Assembly convenes.

If the bill doesn't clear before then, it will have to be re-introduced next year.