Hogan to talk Md. school start dates

WASHINGTON — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will be holding a news conference in Ocean City on Wednesday. The topic: start dates for Maryland’s public schools.

Asked if Hogan would be advocating for a school calendar that banned opening until after Labor Day, the governor’s office declined to comment. But Hogan will be appearing with Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has long advocated for a post-Labor Day start to the school year in the state’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

Hogan  has been friendly to the concept, signing a petition for the change before his inauguration, according to the Maryland Daily Record.

Recently, Franchot recorded a promotional video pushing  for a post-Labor Day start to the school year. Franchot has previously advocated for an extended summer season, creating a campaign called “Let Summer Be Summer.” Franchot’s office has produced figures estimating that extending the summer season could add more than $74 million to the state’s economy.

Maryland’s teachers have opposed the move. The Maryland State Education Association has in the past said that a longer summer could widen the existing achievement gap. There are questions about how the state could force schools to open after Labor Day since school calendars come under the local control granted to county school boards.

On Wednesday, Hogan and Franchot will be joined by other elected officials outside the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, a landmark in Ocean City, which is located in Worcester County — the state’s only county where school starts after Labor Day.

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