ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland families may be changing their plans this summer. The State Senate voted Tuesday to let local school systems set their own start dates.
The bill to allow local school boards to determine their own start dates would overturn Governor Hogan’s executive order that went into effect in Sept. 2017, requiring Maryland schools to open after Labor Day.
The bill has whipped up a political firestorm, with Governor Hogan accusing lawmakers of subverting the will of the people and trying to weaken his power.
“They’re now playing political games to do exactly the opposite of what everyone wants, and that bothers me,” Hogan said in a news conference last week.
The Senate voted 31-13 to put the calendar back in the hands of the districts.
“He signed an executive order,” Senate President Mike Miller said. “But guess what? Maryland has gone from number one to now number 11 in terms of education.”
Miller said districts should adjust their days according to their individual needs.
After the vote, Governor Hogan posted on Facebook, stating in part:
“Get this: Some of the Senators who voted today to stop post-Labor Day school start have actually sponsored legislation to start schools after Labor Day in the past – As recently as 2016. If that isn’t blatant, partisan hypocrisy then I don’t know what is.”
The post also includes a copy of the vote and adds that Marylander’s should see how their Senators voted and give them a call.
Governor Hogan has said if the post-Labor Day start date is overturned, he would work to put it on the ballot for voters to decide.
The bill now goes to the House of Delegates.