Debate Over School Start Date in Maryland Continues

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The Maryland State Senate voted Tuesday to enable local school boards to make the decision whether school begins before before or after Labor Day. The 31-13 vote was along party lines in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The measure will advance to the House of Delegates where Democrats hold a supermajority. The issue has prompted a battle with Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, who signed an executive order in 2016 requiring schools to start after Labor Day.  The Governor and supporters say the longer summer break provides more family time but also crucially serves as a boost to local economies that thrive on tourism, namely Ocean City.

Critics argue the Governor’s executive order shortchanged education and wrongly stripped the power from local jurisdictions.