BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Should schools in Baltimore County start before or after Labor Day weekend?

Baltimore County Public Schools are expected to vote on whether to change the school year calendar for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The choices– either start before or after Labor Day weekend.

Parents said if they start the school year after Labor Day, it means their kids get a longer summer. But the trade-off with that is getting a shorter spring break.

An online survey went out to parents back in May posing the school start date question. The feedback will fuel the Baltimore County School Board’s decision as they put the question up to a vote Tuesday night.

“I actually believe starting after Labor Day makes a lot of sense. I think families like to have the opportunity to have a family vacation in August and I think when you start before Labor Day it really shortens up the summer,” said parent Michael Boyea.

School officials said the proposed budget was approved by the Board of Education back in March but doesn’t include an effort to add 15 minutes to the school day to accommodate weather or emergency closures.

Their two options include starting the school year on Monday, August 26 and ending Tuesday, June 16 with a four-day spring break– or starting Tuesday, September 3 and ending Friday, June 19, with a week off for spring break.

Abbey Beytin with the Teachers Association said the teacher’s vote is for a longer spring break.

“This year it was really tough, they’re really feeling the effects of not having that downtime. They really needed it,” Beytin said.

The vote comes nearly three years after Gov. Hogan signed an executive order requiring all public schools start after Labor Day to boost tourism.

But his vote was overturned earlier this year, leaving the decision up to local schools.

“I feel as though the kids need more days in the summer instead of starting in August,” said parent Charles McLean.

The vote is expected to happen Tuesday night.

Kelsey Kushner


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