The chatter in the halls about today’s announcement from Gov. Larry Hogan turned out to be true. Maryland schools won’t be able to start until after Labor Day next year.
Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot announced an executive order with that mandate attached on the boardwalk in Ocean City. The location was designed to show that starting school later left more time for summer vacation.
The date will mark a change in all Maryland school districts except the one where Ocean City was located. In this week before Labor Day, every other school has opened once again for the year.
With the new start date, school will have to end by June 15.
Schools can start earlier, but they have to apply for a waiver.
Hogan said the public on his side on this decision, citing two polls conducted by Goucher in 2014 and 2015 that showed 70 percent of Marylanders supported the decision. Franchot argued that the move will provide more revenue to businesses that help people enjoy summer.
“The action taken today by Governor Hogan will give our families the priceless gift of time, and for that I am personally grateful,” Franchot said.
But to one of the state’s teacher’s unions, that extra time could be spent learning. Sean Johnson, Director of Government Relations for the Maryland State Education Association called the move a “summer tax on the thousands of working families who don’t have the extra money or vacation time to spend in Ocean City.”
“Forcing all schools to begin after Labor Day won’t help students do better—and research shows that it can worsen summer brain drain among students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds,” Johnson said. “It’s abundantly clear that Gov. Hogan is more interested in grabbing headlines than employing research-backed solutions that could make a difference for students.”