Counties Need More Control Over Calendars


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Larry Hogan’s school calendar requirements are creating serious scheduling problems.

Sagun Shrestha, Editor-In-Chief

The impact of Governor Hogan’s executive order mandating schools to start after Labor Day, but end by June 15, has created a multitude of problems for counties not knowing how to cram in all the school days.

Despite boosting small businesses and attracting tourism, which Hogan cited while issuing the order, it creates more issues for the families and students that it was meant to help. Not every family has the means to use that extra week off to go on vacation, and child care during those last few weeks can be hard to find.

“I feel like the local governments don’t really care as much about the students as they do as for their economy, so they want school to start after labor day just to get people to go to amusement parks and fairs or whatever, but it’s really not working because none of the students care that much,” sophomore Samira Koraganie said.

There are also major restrictions on holidays and professional days since those are the first to be cut when the maximum number of snow days is reached.

“There are school holidays that other jurisdictions don’t celebrate and so we’d have greater restrictions on our school year and flexibility than other school districts do, but we should be allowed to have that flexibility,” English teacher Lisa Marshall said.

AP exams also raise questions about starting school after labor day because exams are pre-scheduled, and there’s no way to change that date.

“I think it specifically puts students who take AP classes at a disadvantage because they’re still taking an AP exam in May, as opposed to students in other parts of the country that start school earlier in August. They have additional weeks of instruction time,” social studies teacher Rachel Clements said.

Students and teachers alike prefer that the school year start earlier for different reasons. Some cite snow days, others cite the absence of spring break, and a few others want summer to start earlier.

“The later we start in school, the later we end.” sophomore Duaa Emira said. “If we start earlier it’ll give the county better hold on the school days and they’ll give us more snow days. I want my summer to start as soon as possible and we might have more snow days because the weather is constantly changing.”

Both teachers, Marshall and Clements, agree that it would be better for each individual county to decide their school years because the counties know their students better and the considerations that each county has.

“I think school systems should be able to decide when they want their own school system to start,” Marshall said. “I think we shouldn’t have this random, arbitrary date after which or before which we can’t have classes.”

When the state forces everyone to go by a strict guideline, it can not possibly work for every single district. This is why counties need control of their own school calendars and why the Maryland Senate did the right thing when they passed a bill last Tuesday overturning Hogan’s executive order, giving the power back to school districts.

“I think that’s perfect,” Clements said.