Governor Hogan Introduces “Common Sense Legislation“ to Return School Start to After Labor Day

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Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he is introducing the Universal School Start Act of 2020 requiring Maryland public schools to start after Labor Day.

According to the press release this will be “ending the mass confusion of having Maryland’s counties each starting on different dates. This mass confusion was created by the General Assembly’s actions in 2019, when it cynically overturned the governor’s popular executive order requiring that school start after Labor Day.”

“We have taken a lot of actions over the past five years, but I can’t think of a single one that has more widespread, enthusiastic support across the state,” said Governor Hogan.

“But after two years of it working very well, and after the 2018 election was completed, last year in 2019 special interests snuck a bill in and legislators reversed himself and ignored the people again by reversing this common sense action with a misguided piece of legislation, which has the potential to cause mass confusion this fall and in future years with a potential for 24 different start dates spread over several weeks.”

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14 Comments on "Governor Hogan Introduces “Common Sense Legislation“ to Return School Start to After Labor Day"

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  2. Goodness, let it go Governor. I am happy for my kids to start before Labor Day

  3. Going to have to talk the next Democrat Governor in to it. Was funny how the last Republican Governor was desperately trying to save Maryland Horse Racing, and legalize Slot machines. That was a terrible idea until a Democratic Governor years later endorsed it , then passed way too late to save horse racing.

    • So then is he going to pay teachers overtime? I was so excited to hear that it had been overturned and school boards would once again be in charge of their own calendars. Since that mandate went into effect, teachers have suffered by losing professional and planning days usually built into the school calendar. Starting after Labor Day causes those *much needed* days to be sacrificed in the name of instructional days that fit within a very tight school year calendar. I guess I’ll just continue to spend more unpaid time away from my own kids to do report cards and get ready for upcoming quarters since I’m too busy teaching during the day.

      • Why does starting later entail less time for teacher planning? Why not extend the school year at the end (in June) a commensurate amount?

        • Because Hogan wanted us to end by June 14th meaning that the calendar was very very restricted.the biggest problem is the 182 days of mandatory school days, plus the Maryland unpredictable weather. It never worked!

      • Dont worry Beliz. You will have an extra week of summer vacation to spend we your kids on top of all the days off during the school year you already have.
        That said, I prefer a start date before labor day as well.

        • We don’t get paid for summer. We have to find jobs to survive. So no, most of us don’t get spend time with our kids since we are trying to make ends meet. Summer is a difficult time for me and I am sure a lot of other teachers. It’s not a vacation.

  4. There is zero mass confusion in starting when the local government decides. When the state finds everything the state can mandate common start dates. Enough already.

  5. Starting school after labor day wasn’t the big problem. It was mandating that the school year also end by a specific date in June. That didn’t allow flexibility for snow days and resulted in shorter winter and spring breaks. It also required counties to cut teacher professional days and no longer observing some religious holidays. Choose a start date or end date — not both — to give countries some flexibility.

  6. Where did he go to school? How confusing could it possibly be?? The various Maryland counties each communicate with the public about that start date of school. Ridiculous to use that as an excuse for putting travel revenue above the education of our children. Shame, shame on you, Hogan!!!

  7. Hamilton Quant | January 31, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Reply

    I am an MCPS alum (1971-1984 at Jackson Road ES, White Oak (at the time) Junior HS, and Springbrook HS) and school ALWAYS started *AFTER* Labor Day “back in my day” and the LD holiday was my benchmark for when summer vacation was (sadly) over. At what point did MCPS get into this pissing contest with the State about starting BEFORE Labor Day? If starting before Labor Day worked back in the 70’s and the 80’s, why can’t it work now in the 10’s? Just curious (I am actually indifferent on this topic).

    • Hamilton Quant | January 31, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Reply

      In my previous comment, I meant to type the 20’s and not the 10’s… Apologies!

      • Parent and teacher | February 1, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Reply

        I too went to MCPS schools graduating from Blair, Eastern, and Wayside ES in a time when for the most part we started after Labor Day. But I also went to school when some school years ended June 24th, they extended the school day time (forcing many at my school who were already high schoolers going until 2:30 to go from 7-3) and they added school days on to make up for snow days.
        While I concede it’s not ideal to have all different start days – it’s a complicated formula of students being required to attend 180 days without any snow days attached. But I also remember as a kid never losing my spring break and being forced to cancel what was a day off to make up a snow day (these were only made up in June.)
        Since Hogan’s executive order to change school start my family has had employees or students in 3 different school systems in Maryland – St.Marys, Howard and Montgomery. All 3 have had a year where students have lost spring break (including Howard not getting any) and all 3 have had to extend their school year and lose days that were scheduled days off in the middle of the school year.
        As an educator and parent yes it’s difficult, but the well being of my children and my students is far more important. Those days off are necessary. I’m going to guess that when you attended Springbrook there was never any question of if you were going to have to cancel spring break plans, or your parents would have to find camps for you to attend – then cancel them.
        None of this would be the case without that executive order – MCPS never asked for this fight. It was Hogan trying to assert his will and the interest of a small few wealthy backers.

        • Hamilton Quant | February 2, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Reply

          I am not sure if it was a rhetorical question or not, but….

          I attended Springbrook for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade (1981-1984) right at the transition when 9th grade became part of high school. The 1983-84 school year was when 9th graders were part of high school.

          12th grade, seniors ended the school year around the end of May (like they do now), so any snow days didn’t really affect us if the school year was extended. As for 11th and 10th grades, I seem to recall that there were 5 snow days built in to the school year (don’t quote me on that) and I do not believe the school year was extended, nor was spring break shortened, nor were the school hours lengthened. It may have just been that those two years for me were not that harsh when it came to snow. I do recall having days off because of snow, but it didn’t cut into the five days.

          I mean, I get it. I see where Hogan is coming from. And I see where concerned parents are coming from, too. Wouldn’t it be great if, one day, kids could log on to their computers and “attend” class online during a snow day?

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