It’s called the Universal School Start Act of 2020.
Frederick, MD – Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday his introduction of the Universal School Start Act of 2020, which would require Maryland public schools to start after Labor Day.
The proposed legislation follows a decision made during the 2019 General Assembly to overturn Hogan’s 2016 executive order that required all Maryland school districts to start classes after Labor Day and complete the 180 days required under state law.
“The Universal School Start Act will repeal the legislature’s 2019 misguided bill and return our state to what the citizens actually want and have been demanding for years: the return of the school start to after Labor Day,” Hogan said.
Frederick County Board of Education President Brad Young said districts should be left in charge of their own academic calendars that fit their needs.
“I disagree with it,” Young said. “Honestly, what we should be looking at is what’s in the best academic interest of our students.”
Frederick County’s 2020-2021 academic calendar was adopted back in December and the BOE is currently discussing plans for the following year’s schedule.
Young said the calendar committee suggests start dates with certain Frederick-focused parameters in mind including closing dates for Fair Day, Yom Kippur, and spring breaks.
“Starting school on September 7 is a hindrance to most of our students being able to be prepared for their AP exams and other exams,” Young said. “And it also does not align with many of our students that take classes at Frederick Community College which we have many that are dual enrolled.”
the 2020-2021 school year for Frederick County is set to begin August 31, 2020, a week before Labor Day, with 24 full weeks of instruction and two weeks with an early dismissal.
Schools will be closed on Fair Day and Yom Kippur with spring break from March 29 through April 5, 2021 and last day of school will be June 15, 2021.
The legislature will hear Hogan’s bill sometime next month.
By Timothy Young