Before or After Labor Day? New Start Dates for Schools Could Come in Effect

Maryland school boards have the option to start the school year before Labor Day

Frederick, MD- The Maryland General Assembly gave decision power to local school boards to excercise control over their start dates and with the new school year approaching, school districts have begun discussing next year’s calendar.

Maryland students might see changes to school start dates in the future as a mandate by Governor Larry Hogan was overturned, giving school boards to option to start the school year before Labor Day.

Maryland schools for the past year were under an executive order by Governor Hogan to start the school year after Labor Day and end by June 15. Lawmakers returned the decision making power back to the school board, and now school start dates might be changing.

“This is a decision that belongs with local jurisdictions,” Frederick County Board of Education President Brad Young said. “Each county has its owns constraints in making a calendar.”

Young explained that each county was constrained by Hogan’s mandate and struggled to end by June 15th due to instances such as staff workshops, snow days, and even Frederick County’s Fair Day. Additionally, Labor Day constraints interfered with mandated testings for AP classes.

“One third of their educational time was after they were required to take the test,” Young said. “What it results in is that many days at the end of the year are not educational days.”

With Hogan’s mandate overturned, school districts now can express autonomy with their start datyes that would best fit their specific academic calendars.

“If we could get the school year started a little sooner, I think we could probably try to get school done by Memorial Day or even at the latest early June,” Young said. “The only factor that weighs into that is snow days.”

The school board’s semester start dates for the 2019-2020 school year was decided back in December before the law was changed, so schools will be starting after Labor Day this year.