Post-Labor Day school start good for Maryland’s economy, study says

Starting school after Labor Day is good for Maryland’s economy, according to a new study.

The post-Labor Day start, which has been a hotly debated issued in the state, carries a net economic impact of up to $115 million, according to the new analysis by the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network at Salisbury University.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said the independent analysis echoes an economic impact study conducted by the state in 2013 and supports Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2016 executive order mandating that all Maryland public schools start after Labor Day.

“This independent analysis validates what we already know: starting school after Labor Day is good for Maryland families, good for our local businesses and good for the Maryland economy,” Franchot said in a news release.

The university’s analysis found a total economic impact of close to $58 million for six extra days of summer, rising to $115 million for 12 additional days — depending on when Labor Day falls on the calendar.

The economic benefit comes from added spending at Maryland tourism destinations and added summer employment for Maryland students, according to the study.

The discussion around whether individual districts should be allowed to decide whether they will start before Labor Day or follow a statewide post-Labor Day start has been a point of contention between the Maryland General Assembly and Hogan.

Lawmakers against the post-Labor Day mandate argue that school systems would know what work best for their communities.

In March, the General Assembly voted to override the governor’s executive order and allow schools to once more choose their own start dates.

The Montgomery County Public School system is considering a pre-Labor Day start in 2020.

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