Later start dates could lengthen the vacation season for Lake of the Ozarks, adding an extra weekend for family travel.

A bill passed by the Missouri legislature restricting when local school districts can start classes could have an impact on tourism at Lake of the Ozarks. 

Although lake area schools already fall within the parameters set by the bill, if districts in other parts of the state set later start dates, Lake of the Ozarks could see a boost. Tourism officials will be watching what districts in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas do.

Later start dates could lengthen the vacation season for Lake of the Ozarks, adding an extra weekend for family travel. 

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jeff Knight, R-Lebanon. 

The bill, once signed by Governor Mike Parsons, would prohibit schools from starting earlier than 14 days before the first Monday in September. How it will be enforced is unclear. 

According to an Associated Press article during the legislative session, supporters of the school start date bill included tourism officials and groups representing tourism-related businesses such as amusement park operators, hotel and campground owners and river outfitters, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Opponents cited included several legislators who felt the decision should be decided by local districts, as well as the Missouri National Education Association, the Missouri State Teachers Association and the School Administrators Coalition. 

The Missouri School Boards’ Association, said locally elected public school boards should decide when school years start in their community.