ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — There are calls to push back the school year in Maryland. A high-ranking state official petitions to extend summer break until after Labor Day. Not everybody supports the idea.
Christie Ileto has more on the potential impact of a school year change.
A later school start date means one thing to student Karley Thomas: “I have a longer summer, basically, and I get to do more stuff,” she said.
State lawmakers are eying after Labor Day for the first bell, arguing millions of dollars are on the line.
“I mean, wake up Maryland. We’re losing our summer,” said State Comptroller Peter Franchot.
State leaders this week are working to get 10,000 signatures after a state report proved a post-holiday start pumps more than $74 million into the state.
Right now, only Worcester County goes back to school after the holiday. It’s an area that relies heavily on student workers in the summer.
“If they’re going to be in school longer for snow, they might as well go back to school later and give them a little bit more summer,” one parent said.
The state mandates 180 days in the school year. Some critics fear a later start means a later finish.
“You could get out by Memorial Day. But say you got out the first week of June, that would be the same as it is right now,” Franchot said.
“I don’t know if it’s an economic boom or not because it’s only one more weekend,” said parent Cindy Salvon-Harman.
Salvon-Harman says she’s not sold.
“Because I think the summer tends to be too long. It’s hard to keep them engaged mentally,” she said.
In a July letter to legislators, state teachers’ unions argue it shouldn’t solely be about the bottom dollar.
“The school calendars have always and should always be determined about what’s good for students,” said Sean Johnson, Maryland State Education Association.
Still, just the idea of more vacation for Karley Thomas is a sweet deal.
In May, a state task force voted in favor of pushing back the start date.
The issue could be part of next year’s legislative session.
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