Possibility of MD students returning to school in August strong, eastern shore reacts

OCEAN CITY, Md. – As summer break kicks in for students in Maryland, businesses in Ocean City thrive off of the families who spend their time and money in the resort town. But a new law could change all that, and instead of spending their summer days  on the boardwalk, students could find themselves right back in school again, earlier than they think.

“It was something that was working for the state, it was proven to work economically,” said the town of Ocean City’s public information officer, Jessica Waters.

Only one year after all schools in Maryland started school after labor thanks to an executive order from Governor Larry Hogan. The potential for summer break to end in August could soon become a reality. Now that legislators have passed veto proof bills in both the house and senate that would give the choice back to the school districts on when to send kids back to school.

“The clientele does change too certain people are coming after labor day, a lot of the parents can’t make it down here because their kids are back in school so yeah we would see a drastic change,” said the Purple Moose Saloon general Manger Robert Taylor.

“It makes our season last little bit longer which is good for us,” said The Beach Hut owner Gary Herr.

Although the senate and house still need to sort out and difference they have between the bills, businesses in Ocean City are already fearful the passing of the legislation could make a difference in their bottom line. Parents, meanwhile, are split on how they feel.

“I agree with the governor and I hope it would stay that way,” said Bob Therit.

“They should definitely go back earlier than Labor Day since they’ll go get out sooner because of the weather and it gets hotter down here so I vote for earlier then Labor Day,” said Amy Carlson.

As for if school districts here on the eastern shore would take advantage of this possible change? In a statement superintendent for the Wicomico County Public schools says she would “Consider the priorities and needs of the school system, and listen to the interest of all stakeholders before making a recommendation.”
While the superintendent of Talbot County schools says she believes “School calendars should be that of local control with local boards making the decisions based on the needs of their communities. ”

Despite the debate if this change would be good for schools or not, it’s ultimately up to legislators to decide. State leaders add that it’s now up to both chambers to sort out any differences before it heads to Governor Larry Hogan, who is fully prepared to push for a referendum. Hogan adds that “Marylanders will have the deciding vote on this one way or another, and there is absolutely no question about where they stand on this issue.”

Categories: Local News, Maryland