He cites a study from Salisbury State University.
Annapolis, Md (KM) Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is touting a report from Salisbury State University in his push to have schools continue to start the day after Labor Day. The study says starting classes in early September rather than August has an economic impact of $115-billion.
Franchot points out that tourism is the 10th largest industry in Maryland, employing more than 200,000 people, and producing $15-billion in revenue. “When the tourism industry generate more profits, those are taxed, and those taxes go into promoting K through 12 education,” he says.
And, he notes, when Maryland businesses thrive, it’s good for public schools. “You can’t have improvements in helping our kids–which is a huge priority for me–without having the business community do well in Maryland,:” he says. “And that’s why we have been advocating and championing this.”
In 2016, Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order requiring all state public schools begin their academic year the day after Labor Day. But the General Assembly passed a bill overturning that order, and giving that authority to counties.
Franchot doesn’t think too many school systems will go back to starting classes in August. “I anticipate very few counties moving from post Labor Day to August starts,”he says.
If they do, Franchot says some of those elected officials may be thrown out of office by the voters.. “I can guarantee school boards and other parts of the state where it’s already the law of the land, if they move back, they do so at the risk of losing their offices,” he says.
Parents, teachers and others have argued that students tend to lose some of their learning during a long summer break, and teachers have to start over when classes resume. Franchot calls that argument “nonsense.” “It’s not supported by any academic studies that are credible,” he responds. “In fact, most of the academic studies find that to be complete nonsense. And it’s true.
Since the power to set the academic schedule has been returned to counties, the Frederick County Board of Education has been pondering whether to start classes a little earlier. The school system’s Calendar Committee is not expected to make a recommendation until December.
With Labor Day falling late in 2020, Board of Ed members believe an earlier start may be necessary.
By Kevin McManus