After studying the potential impact on the economy, summer tourism and public education, a state task force reportedly plans to recommend that Maryland public schools start the school year after Labor Day. If enacted, the move would delay the customary first day of school by about a week in many Maryland school systems, including Harford County Public Schools. Because the state currently requires 180 days of instruction, the later start date could also mean a later end to the school year each June.
Supporters of the statewide initiative, including Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, have said that the move would boost economic activity and generate added tax revenue. Detractors, including some local superintendents, have decried the loss of local control over school calendars that must incorporate inclement weather make up days, established testing dates, and professional development days for teachers.
Jillian Lader, HCPS manager of communications, did not immediately respond to The Dagger’s request for a comment from Superintendent Barbara Canavan.
By law, the state task force must present its findings and recommendations no later than June 30th for further consideration by Gov. Martin O’Malley and state legislators.
Do you agree or disagree with a recommendation that would delay the start of school in Harford County until after Labor Day?
UPDATE: On May 22, 2014, Jillian Lader, HCPS manager of communications, provided the following statement from Superintendent Barbara Canavan:
“I support the state superintendent’s position that local school districts should be granted autonomy regarding the start of school year. The post Labor Day start to school is replete with, but not limited to, complications pertaining to instruction, student assessments, professional development opportunities and preserving traditional family time throughout the school year for all members of our school community.”