Hogan reignites fight to have Maryland schools start after Labor Day

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he plans to introduce the Universal School Start Act of 2020, which will require public schools around the state to start after Labor Day.

The announcement comes almost one year after the legislature overturned a similar 2016 executive order that schools had to start after Labor Day weekend.

“Each school system is very, very different from each other,” said Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, in early 2019 during the vote to repeal. “They need to make those decisions for themselves on the calendar.”

Now, Hogan is looking to fight back once again, stating that he believes the legislature’s overturning of his order made school start dates confusing, as well as going against what those in the state want.

“We have taken a lot of actions over the past five years, but I can’t think of a single one that has more widespread, enthusiastic support across the state,” Hogan said in a release.

Hogan went on to say that after two years, “special interests snuck a bill in,” claiming that legislators then reversed course and “ignored the people again by reversing this common sense action with a misguided piece of legislation, which has the potential to cause mass confusion this fall and in future years with a potential for 24 different start dates spread over several weeks.”

Hogan appears to be pointing to a poll from March 2019, which stated that over 55% of Marylanders wanted a post-Labor Day start.

In the D.C. area, where a majority of schools reside, 53% say they wanted the start to be after the holiday, while 43% stated they wanted local jurisdictions to handle it. Western Maryland had the most support for the September start, at 59% for versus 37% against.

It should be noted that the poll did not indicate whether those polled had children in Maryland schools.

In 2013, the Maryland General Assembly voted 170-7 to begin a study regarding starting school after Labor Day. In 2016, Hogan made the decision to sign an executive order mandating all schools begin after Labor Day.

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