The Maryland Senate Bill (SB128 – 2019) titled “County Boards of Education – School Year – Start and End Dates” passed yesterday with a final vote of 31 to 13. This bill to allow local school boards to determine their own start dates and would overturn Governor Hogan’s executive order that went into effect in 2017, requiring Maryland schools to open after Labor Day.

Here is a recap of the vote in the Senate:

Governor Hogan was not thrilled with this initiative and vote…and posted the following on Facebook:

He then followed that up with this post:

To add some local information on this topic…State Senators Hester, Lam and Guzzone all voted yes on SB 128. Senator Hester posted the following on Facebook yesterday:

I have been on the fence with this issue. I no longer have a child in the public school system…so it is really not my issue any longer.

I understand the want to have local control over issues like this…but I also have seen how local control does not always mean better results (those of us in Howard County watching the actions of the school systems and HoCoBOE in the past know that all to well).

I also understand that if 70% of residents of Maryland support starting after Labor Day…then maybe starting after Labor Day is the way to go.

This bill now goes to the House of Delegates…where I would expect to see it pass as well.

Then it will go to the Governor to sign…where he will (I expect) veto it…then we will watch the veto override vote.

Governor Hogan has said if the post-Labor Day start date is overturned, he would work to put it on the ballot for voters to decide. I personally love this option…let the voters decide on this issue!!!

What are your thoughts on the school start dates? Do you believe in local control on this issue or do you like everyone starting after Labor Day?

Scott E

3 COMMENTS

  1. Local control does not always mean good results. I still have 1 child in the system, but have pulled #2 and put him into private school (because our school system is garbage test prep curriculum). The problem with starting before Labor Day is that the 1st week is filled with paperwork and busywork and the teachers let them watch movies because they don’t want to start school on a “short week”. They come back to school on a “short week” and the teachers don’t want to start on subject matter again. It is week #3 that teachers start to review and it isn’t until week #5 that they really start any new curriculum. Why is it that the school system gives out supply lists at the end of the previous school year and the kids have all the supplies day 1, but the teachers don’t start teaching day 1? Besides, there are still many schools that are un-air conditioned or that have many hotter than hell portables. When the temperatures rise too high, they dismiss for heat index. Let it start after Labor Day and at least for 1 week, parents don’t have to deal with early dismissal due to heat.

  2. I too no longer have a child in school, but I dislike the fact that the Governor mandated this change to all county Board of Educations. Parents and teachers, who are the main drivers of the post-Labor day openings, can go to the Boards and express their opinions. I think Gov. Hogan set a precedent by mandating this. It is a precedent I do no like.

  3. I agree with Scott on both points.
    a) local control is better.
    b) local board has failed us in the past.

    Once again, our elected officials think they know what is best for us. Even though, 70% of the voters don’t agree with them.
    I wonder if the Md Teachers Union is behind this aggressive action?

    I no longer have kids in the HoCo school system but I am in favor of starting school after Labor Day.

    I hope it goes to referendum. I am sure most voters want school to start after Labor Day. However, I am also sure the descriptive points on the ballot will be written to make the elected officials position sound more logical.

    Will the voters remember 3 yrs from now that our elected officials ignored our wishes?
    Maybe, their challengers (starting in 2 yrs) will remind the voters !!!

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