We know y’all heard by now about Governor Hogan’s Executive Order mandating that schools will now start after Labor Day and must be done by June 15th. Curiously there was nothing within this Executive Order that would help school systems achieve this, like perhaps, eliminating some of the testing requirements or lowering the number of mandatory school days. Therefore, something is going to have to go. And it looks as though that something will be Spring Break. Baltimore County school superintendent had this to say:
Baltimore County schools Superintendent Dallas Dance said his school system would have to reduce spring break to Good Friday and the Monday after Easter to fit the required 180 days into the calendar between Labor Day and June 15.
We’ve seen people on Twitter comment how this is a summer tax for working families who now will have to find more camps and child care. Not to mention the summer slide that so many kids experience. What we find all so interesting is that this decision was not done through the legislature, had no public comment opportunities and seems to be antithetical to the way a “less government is better” politician would behave.
Don’t get us wrong though, we Yokel moms do not want to lose our summer break. But we also do not want to lose our Spring and Winter ones either. One of the Yokel younguns even said today, ” I can’t make it through the year without my breaks.” We also remembered how Frederick almost burned down the Board of Ed when they took Fair Day off the calendar. The hard truth is, however, if schools are required to come up with 180 days on a longer summer schedule something is gonna get chopped!
Lots of people support this because they didn’t go to school until after Labor Day when they were kids. Well, school has changed since the good old days and we happen to think it is really bad policy to make decisions based on nostalgia. We are also super skeptical that people are going to use that time to stuff their faces with Boardwalk Fries. When this same exact subject came up in legislative hearings, school board members testified against it. Every community should have the freedom to create their school calendar around their needs and wants. If Governor Hogan really wanted to help local school boards out he could: a) Better fund the schools b) Ease up on State testing requirements and c) study the research about how really long breaks hurt lower income kids. Every district needs to design their calendar based on the needs and wants of their community. We’ll leave you with these words from State Senator Mike Miller:
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) criticized Hogan for not collaborating with the General Assembly, calling the governor’s action “extraordinary and legally questionable,” and saying he should have proposed the change as legislation.“It would have required hard work on the part of the Governor, and mostly likely compromise working with education experts and local officials around the state to reach agreement on how the goal could best be accomplished without harming students’ educational attainment,” Miller said.
“Making a press show about this issue over a year in advance while holding hands with the state tax collector appears like political gamesmanship.”
Can you imagine if Jan did something like this? Curious to see how Billy and Kirby are going to react when it’s their buddy making sweeping mandates.