For the record, the Maryland State Education Association, the Public Schools Superintendents Association of Maryland, and the Maryland Association of Boards of Education are against changing the law to require school systems in Maryland to delay the start of the school year until after Labor Day, the Washington Post reports.
The MSEA is the teachers’ union, and the other groups are professional associations as well.
They sent a combined letter to Gov Martin O’Malley saying, “While we appreciate the recommendation, it appears to be based on purely economic reasons. … We strongly believe school-related decisions should be determined locally and based on meeting the academic needs of our students, providing professional development for our faculties, and honoring the wishes of our communities.”
Mr O’Malley signed legislation creating a task force last year to study the issue. That task force, made up of educators, business leaders, parents, and others, voted 12 to 3 to recommend starting the school year after Labor Day.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is a strong supporter of delaying the start of the school year. Doing so could bring in more than $7.7 million in additional state tax revenue and yield $74.3 million in additional economic activity, especially for the state’s tourism businesses in Worcester and Garrett counties.
My opinion is that the economic gains won’t offset what students will lose over the additional week or so of summer, although I greatly appreciated the opportunity for schools and communities to come together and have this discussion. What do you think about this idea?