Photograph by Davis Burroughs

Parents have a reason to be excited. Thanks to two new bills signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam, all Virginia schools will now be allowed to open before Labor Day.

The bills take effect July 1, meaning schools could implement the changes as early as this fall. Schools will still take a four-day weekend for Labor Day, and some districts may choose not to alter their schedule at all.

The bills counteract the “Kings Dominion Law” passed in 1986, which was meant to push the start of school in order to protect hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of economic spending in the final weeks of summer.

Proponents of the bill argue that it increases opportunities for Virginia’s students and that giving each school district the flexibility to decide its own schedule will help both students and schools.

The bills aren’t a drastic shift. Forty-four districts in the state had waivers to open prior to Labor Day and nearly half of the state‚Äôs districts opened more than two weeks before Labor Day during the 2018-2019 school year.

Regardless, for some Virginia parents, this may mean spending two fewer weeks of income on babysitters or summer camps, while for students, it would mean a shorter summer vacation.

Tough break, kiddos. But remember one thing: knowledge is power.