North Dakota School Year Begins After Labor Day Initiative, Measure 8 (2014)

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Measure 8
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Type:State statute
Referred by:Citizens
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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June 10
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November 4
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Measure 8

The North Dakota School Year Begins After Labor Day Initiative, Measure 8 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in North Dakota as an initiated state statute. The measure, upon voter approval, would mandate that public school classes begin after Labor Day.[1]

Currently, each school district in the state is free to design their respective school calendar, including the academic year’s starting date.[2]

Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia are the only states that currently require school classes to begin after Labor Day.[3]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text is as follows:[4]

Initiated Statutory Measure No. 8

This initiated measure would amend section 15.1-06-03 of the North Dakota Century Code to require school classes to begin after Labor Day.

YES - means you approve the measure summarized above.

NO - means you reject the measure summarized above.[5]


Start ND School after Labor Day is leading the campaign in support of the measure.[6]


Start ND School after Labor Day provided a frequently asked questions page on their website. The group outlines a number of supporting arguments and rebuttals on the page:

Why are we doing this? What is our purpose?

We are a group of parents who feel that schools should resume after the Labor Day holiday. We would like our summer break to include some of the best weather that N.D. has to offer. The thought of having our kids go to school in the middle of August with temperatures in the 90's does not provide a healthy learning environment.

How will this affect sporting schedules?
Our measure will have nothing to do with sports. The starting and finishing dates of those activities are set by the North Dakota High School Activities Association.

Does this mean that school will not dismiss until mid June?
No. That is a common tactic that opponents will use to direct us off course. We do not state in our measure when we would like an end date to school. Our concern is with the start date. Each individual school district would then set their own calendar to however best suits their needs.

Will this affect early standardized test scores?
States who start after labor day such as MN and WI have successfully administered assessment tests in the fall. Any information should be on their state websites. These states can be used as examples to show the effectiveness of an after Labor Day start.

Aren't some North Dakota schools starting after Labor Day?
Yes. A few schools have adopted a start after Labor Day calendar for the 2014-2015 school year. This is just for the one school year and is subject to change from year to year. The initiated measure we are presenting is to start school after Labor Day for ALL North Dakota schools. [5]

Start ND School after Labor Day[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in North Dakota

The Office of the Secretary of State approved the initiative petition for circulation on September 20, 2013.[8]

The initiative's supporters needed to collect a minimum of 13,452 valid signatures by August 6, 2014. On August 6, 2014, supporters turned in approximately 15,781 signatures to the North Dakota Secretary of State.[9] Of the 15,781 signatures turned in, 14,907 were deemed valid. The initiative was certified the ballot on September 5, 2014.[10]

See also

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