BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD. (WJZ) — Should school start before or after Labor Day? It’s an ongoing debate in Maryland, and now, Baltimore County schools are weighing in.

The school system is asking the Board of Education to consider starting school before Labor Day next year.

Baltimore County parents’ response varies- some say the start date really doesn’t matter to them, while others say starting too early cuts into their summer vacation.

“I’m a big proponent of having school start after Labor Day, but I also am a really big supporter of local control, understanding that our school board and school systems need the flexibility to make the decisions that are right for them,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

County schools said that a pre-Labor Day start date will allow them to balance professional development days and September’s religious holidays while still having enough school days mandated by state law.

Under the new proposal, the first day of school would be August 31, because next year- Labor Day isn’t until September 7.

“I’m cool with it,” said parent Barbara Snee.

“I feel like it cuts into family time if you make them go back too early,” said Margaret Pollard, grandparent.

“I would rather go a couple of days before Labor Day or a couple of days into June,” another grandparent, Mary Anne Marshall said.

Governor Larry Hogan’s office sent a statement to WJZ that reads in part- “Gov. Hogan is urging the board to follow the will of Marylanders, who overwhelmingly support starting school after Labor Day,”

In 2016, Gov. Hogan issued an executive order mandating schools begin after Labor Day, but the General Assembly overrode that. And now it’s up to the individual school boards.

But if it were up to the Maryland comptroller’s office- he says that a post-Labor start day means an additional $58 million in Maryland’s pockets.

“This is money that is coming back into Maryland in the form of tax revenue, in terms of wages, in terms of economic expansion,” said Len Foxwell, Maryland Comptroller Chief of Staff.

People will have a chance to voice their opinion on the school calendar until October 22. They will make their final decision in November.

Rachel Menitoff

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