Maryland State Senate Questions Post Labor Day School Start


Madison Conner, Contributor

On February 12, 2019, a vote in the Maryland State Senate to reverse Executive Order (01.01.2016.13) and return power over the calendars back to the school districts resulted in 31-13 decision to overturn. 

The 2016 executive order, signed by Governor Larry Hogan, requires that all Maryland kindergarten through twelfth grade public schools must open no earlier than the Tuesday following Labor Day and release no later than June 15. Section 7-103 requires schools to be open for student attendance for 180 days.  

The executive order overrides the traditional local control over school calendars. 

 The document states that the order is intended to give families and friends more time to spend together over the summer, keep pupils out of non-air conditioned classrooms during summer months, and generate more revenue in the tourism industry due to economic competition during the school year. The full document can be viewed at: 

Increasing Ocean City tourism and revenue is the main goal of containing the school year between the dates.   

The Maryland constitution grants the governor the authority to create an executive order, but the General Assembly has the power to reverse actions for the benefit of the state. The senate is taking such steps. 

Freshman Abby Tyndall says, “I think it is a good idea as long as the school board takes into account the opinions of the students and include them in the decision.” 

The bill will now go to the Maryland House of Delegates. If the initiative passes, Hogan says he will petition to put the issue on a statewide ballot. He tweets his concern over the amount of hypocrisy that is occurring within the senate.  

Get this: some of the senators who voted today to stop the post-Labor Day start have actually sponsored legislation to start schools after Labor Day in the past. . .”, tweeted Governor Hogan on February 12, 2019.  

Starting after Labor Day and ending before June 15 leaves little room for snow days and gives students a short spring break. At this point in the year, mid-third marking period, there are no breaks or days off. This prevents students from having homework catch-up days or mental health days.  

Sophomore Rebecca Flanders says, “Giving more brakes allows students to be focused when they get back to school, and being focused will help improve students’ knowledge, GPA, and drive to learn. I personally feel that the education for the future generations of America who will eventually occupy the workforce for our country is more important than profits gained from Ocean City by setting the start date for school later in the year.”   

With the new bill, individual districts now have more say over the school calendar, and more control over meeting the needs of their students. If the bill does succeed passage in the House of Delegates and is not defeated by popular vote on a statewide ballot, such needs will be met.