By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For many kids, the countdown is on to summer vacation.

A lot of Minnesota schools have less than a month to go before summer break.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: UK Variant Outbreak Linked To Youth Sports In Carver County, Officials Recommend 2-Week Pause

While students here get summers off, kids in a lot of other countries, like China and Japan, have year-round schooling.

So, why do we still have summer vacation? WCCO spoke with Charlene Briner, chief of staff for the Minnesota Department of Education.

“There are many industrialized countries that have school for a longer school year, a longer school day,” Briner said.

She says Minnesota schools are required to have a minimum of 165 school days a year. And unless they apply for a waiver, they cannot start before Labor Day. Tourism is a big reason for this law.

“So there has traditionally been some pushback for an early start, a pre-Labor Day start from resort owners,” Briner said. “From people who go to the State Fair.”

READ MORE: More Than 1 Million Wisconsin Residents Have Been Vaccinated

Summer is short in Minnesota, so it is a chance for teenagers to work in summer jobs that help our state’s economy.

But there are other reasons why kids don’t have to worry about being stuck inside a classroom all summer. Many school buildings are not built for year-round classes.

“They don’t have air conditioning, they may not be equipped for … some of the weather at the end of the summer,” she said.

The summer break can also save districts money on bussing and transportation costs for a few months.

The Department of Education says there are a few reasons why summer vacation was invented. In Minnesota, farming during the summer months was a big reason.

They say there is such a thing as the “summer swoon,” where students forget some of what they learned the year before.

MORE NEWS: Faces Of COVID: Daryl Kruger, 82, Loved His Grandkids And The MN Twins

This is why they are encouraging students to continue learning during the summer months. Click here for more information.

John Lauritsen