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The closure of dozens of local schools without air conditioning due to high heat indexes Thursday prompted renewed calls to start the school year later.

“It’s hot, it’s muggy, kids are irritated. A cooler atmosphere makes them relax better,” said parent Tonja Thomas.

An Ohio Senate bill introduced in August would require public and private schools to start after Labor Day, when weather is typically cooler than in mid-August.

“I think it’s big on tourism, huge for families, but more importantly for children to learn. I’d rather learn on a 70-degree day the first week in June than a 97-degree day in the middle of August,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Tom Patton, of Strongsville, who is co-sponsoring the legislation

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