NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — Maryland’s governor took on critics of his executive order for public schools, calling opposition to a post-Labor Day start date “nonsense.”
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not controversial,” said Gov. Larry Hogan, speaking to a crowd of Bethesda area business leaders Friday at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.
Hogan has heard from vocal critics since he issued an executive order in August, requiring schools across the state to start after Labor Day. The order, which goes into effect next year, also will require schools to end their year by June 15, but it won’t change the overall number of instructional days.
He later amended his order, limiting the circumstances under which school systems might be granted a waiver.
“You can have whiny people on school boards, it’s not going to change the fact that this is what’s going to happen,” Hogan said.
Various education leaders in Maryland have spoken out against the plan. Members of the Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education “strongly oppose any attempt to usurp local decision making around school calendars,” said Michael Durso, school board president, in a statement.
“Prohibiting schools from starting before Labor Day ignores critical issues faced by schools and the potential negative instructional impact on students,” Durso said.
Hogan addressed that issue head-on.
“If the Montgomery County school board goes against 75 percent of the people in Montgomery County, then they probably won’t be elected to the school board next time,” he said.
The governor cited polls that show strong support for a post-Labor Day start.
One recent survey from Goucher College showed about 67 percent of Marylanders approve of Hogan’s executive order.