By Ryan Miner
As reported today by various news outlets, Gov. Larry Hogan will hold a press conference in Worcester County at 1:00 p.m. this Wednesday alongside Comptroller Peter Franchot, ostensibly to announce their combined support for starting Maryland schools after Labor Day.
The governor’s office confirmed that the Wednesday joint news conference was set but would not give any specifics beyond the time and date.
It is widely speculated that Gov. Hogan, who signed a petition while still a gubernatorial candidate to support moving school start times after Labor Day, will announce he will be issuing an executive order – a mandate – to push back public school start dates until after Labor Day.
Gossip abounding, I will wait until the governor makes his remarks before diving deeper into the issue.
I do, however, strongly oppose executive mandates of which that could unilaterally usurp power away from local school districts, thus diminishing a school district’s control of their own school calendar. I am a vehement advocate for local school boards and districts making their decisions as to when to open and close their doors to begin and end school – not the state, and especially not by executive fiat.
The argument being promulgated by those in favor of supporting post-Labor Day school start times is found in an often-quoted economic impact study that claimed Maryland would putatively reap more than $74 million in additional revenue. Proponents pushing this measure claim that by extending summer vacation and pushing back school start dates until after Labor Day, Maryland businesses would generate millions more in tourism income.
The same economic report touted by post-Labor Day supporters has been largely rebuked and debated.
I consider myself a strong proponent of many Gov. Hogan’s policies, and I believe his executive leadership since taking office has been a net positive for all Marylanders. I will wait until after his Wednesday press conference to make any additional remarks on this subject.