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Speak Out: Should School Start After Labor Day?

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says Maryland's families and economy would benefit from a later school year start. Do you agree?

Should public schools open after Labor Day? Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says they should.

Citing the benefits to Maryland families, small businesses and tourism, Franchot called for a policy change to have all school systems in the state begin classes after Labor Day weekend, according to a press release.

Most state school systems now begin classes a week to 10 days before the end-of-summer holiday, which takes place this year on Monday, Sept. 3.

For the 2012-2013 school year, Montgomery County Public Schools will begin classes on Monday, Aug. 27. Nearby, in Prince George's County, students will begin classes on Monday, Aug. 20. Teachers generally report back to school a week before the students.

"The chance for families to spend precious time together and to build those lifelong memories during that final, end-of-summer vacation has been lost by the decision to begin school ... before Labor Day," Franchot said.  

Last year, Maryland welcomed over 32 million domestic travelers. The tourism sector employs over 340,000 Marylanders. A typical August week in Ocean City generates almost $5 million in state and local revenues. A holiday weekend generates nearly $3 million. Other states—such as Virginia—that have adopted the policy of starting school after Labor Day have documented the policy's benefits to their state and local economies, Franchot said in a press release.

Franchot added that the state's school systems should be able to adjust their calendars while maintaining the 180-day academic year.

"And the best part is that doing this doesn't cost anything ... it will actually generate more than $4 million in additional revenue for our state and local governments. This would be a win for Maryland’s families and our economy," Franchot said.

Do you agree with the comptroller? Should school start after Labor Day? How would your family benefit from a later school year start? Tell us in the comments.

Valerie Coll April 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I would love to have year round school. We could set up four marking periods with a week long testing/culminating project after nine weeks of study. Teachers would then have a week without students for meetings/grading/planning and a week off. Students would have a two weeks off between marking periods twice a year and three weeks off during the winter break and the summer break.. With app. 5-10 random holidays for state/federal/religous reasons and weather days - there is the school year. As a public school teacher, I would LOVE to have this schedule.
Lee Havis April 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I say, make "government schooling " entirely optional. To do that, you just change the compulsory school laws from "Parents SHALL send their children to school..." to "Parent MAY send their children to school..." That, along with lifting censorship and monopoly conditions in non-government schooling, would do more to improve the conditions of economy, freedom,and true educational excellence than anything else government could do in the area. Then, parents, not school boards and "peter Franchoe" people in government can decide when and how to educate their children.
Kathy Selzer April 22, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Seems schools start earlier and earlier. School should start after Labor Day. It's hard on the students and teachers to start school and then a break. The weather is usually so hot, students are miserable wanting to be outside. Makes it bad for teachers. In addition many kids don't start on time as they are away on vacations. Work schedules don't make it easy to take vacation until later.
Angel April 23, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I have lived and went to school in PG County. We always went to school after labor day. Parents use to catch the labor day back to school sales now kids go back so early that they are still buying summer clothes. And if it snows that year too bad, they just have to get out latter or cut out a teacher planning day like they did for us.
caw747 April 25, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I think it would be a good think for us to have year round schooling, with 2-3 wk breaks for summer, easter, and Christmas (holiday). The kids would have more time to stay focused on academics and less time to forget like they do with the current schedule and I think it would make them more able to compete in a world market. Snow days can be made up during spring or summer break.

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