Larry Hogan Starts Maryland Schools After Labor Day

Kendall Chappell, News Editor

On October 11th, 2016, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order to start schools after Labor Day. The policy went into effect this school year, and is meant to help Maryland’s economy and public health.

According to the executive order, Hogan created a “task force” to examine the effects of a later start, and they did not find any major consequences to students academically. In addition, a study that the Maryland Bureau of Revenue conducted found that the state would gain $74.3 million, and $7.7 million of that could be “reinvested in classrooms” in Maryland. They also believe that public health will be benefited as busses will not be on the road during the peak of summer, helping to decrease the pollution risk and intensity.

Students at ERHS said they felt the policy had both benefits and drawbacks. Senior Kainoa Sittman has “mixed feelings” about the policy, saying he has noticed that “after school activities had a bit of trouble getting situated this year.” Despite this, it is “not necessarily a bad change.” Senior Joana Hernandez agrees, saying that the policy “has its pros and cons.” Her issue is that “it has shortened the amount of full days off and the breaks and replaced them with many half days.”

According to the PGCPS website, she is correct. In the first semester last year, not including snow days, there were 16 days off and one early dismissal; this year, however, the system will have 12 days off and five two hour early dismissals. This pattern continues throughout the school year, with last year having 26 days off and 4 early departures in all, compared to this year’s 21 days off and nine early departures.

Junior Kendall Bryant said she dislikes this aspect, saying how, “in lieu of all of our incidents, we haven’t had a formal day off because we need to meet our quota for the required days of school.” She continues that “it sounds like a good idea,” but she “would hope that they’d inform students, teachers, and parents of the positive and negative consequences.”

There are a few exceptions to this rule: it does not apply to year round schools or sports. In addition, there is also a waiver for the order, but it will not be lightly given: Prince George’s County applied for one but it was denied, according to the Prince George’s County website.

At the time of publication, Principal Mr. Reginald McNeill, Governor Hogan, and Superintendent Kevin Maxwell have not responded to a request for comment.