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MCPS ‘Strongly Opposes’ Starting School Year After Labor Day, Despite Governor Hogan’s Executive Ord



“School after Labor Day is now the law of the land,” proclaimed Governor Larry Hogan after signing an executive order mandating that all Maryland public schools begin their school year after Labor Day. However, Montgomery County students shouldn’t start planning late August vacations to Ocean City just yet.

As Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was signing the executive order on Wednesday, Montgomery County Board of Education President Michael Durso was putting the finishing touches on his opposition to the governor’s plan.

Hogan’s Executive Order will require Maryland’s public schools to start classes after Labor Day, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. Citing the benefits of a post-Labor Day school start for families, students, teachers, and the economy, the governor made the announcement on the Ocean City Boardwalk, where he was joined by Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has long been a proponent of pushing the start of school back to after Labor Day.

“Starting Maryland public schools after Labor Day is not just a family issue – it’s an economic and public safety issue that draws clear, strong, bipartisan support among an overwhelming majority of Marylanders,” said Hogan. “Comptroller Franchot and I believe, and the people of Maryland strongly agree, that this Executive Order puts the best interests of Marylanders first, especially the well-being of our students. This action is long overdue, and it is simply the right thing to do.”


However, not everyone is backing the new plan, and the largest school district in the State of Maryland is among the detractors.

“While the Montgomery County Board of Education certainly appreciates the Governor and Comptroller’s interest in supporting beach communities on the Eastern Shore,” wrote Durso in response to Governor Hogan’s actions. “We strongly oppose any attempt to usurp local decision-making around school calendars. Prohibiting schools from starting before Labor Day ignores critical issues faced by schools and the potential negative instructional impact on students. Determining the school calendar is complicated and requires balancing educational requirements, operational issues, and unique community needs all in the interest of students. As a key stakeholder and the largest school district in the state, we are disappointed that the Governor and Comptroller did not include us in their dialogue on this issue.”

The Executive Order signed Wednesday will require that Maryland’s public schools begin after Labor Day, complete the 180 days that are required under state law, and adjourn by June 15, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.