Parents to be given a voice in debate over back to school schedule

MARYLAND – Local legislators, school officials and parents are weighing in on whether back to school should come before or after Labor Day, this after the legislators in Annapolis passed a law to give school districts the option.

Delegate Johnny Mautz, of District 37B, says he opposes giving districts the option.

“We’re so closely united with neighboring counties, it’s really important that families and the students and the teachers, they all go to school together.”

Legislators on the Eastern Shore are pushing for a later start because of the economic boost it’s been proven to give to areas like Ocean City.

But Wicomico County Public Schools say they are going to bring their parents into the process. Starting in a month, parents can weigh in on the issue online or at board of education meetings.

“We’re going to have parents have the ability to weigh in on what calendar they’d like to see as far as would they like to see us start after Labor Day, or would they like to start before Labor Day,” said Wicomico Schools director of communications Paul Butler.

We went out and asked parents what they think, should kids go back before or after the holiday.

We spoke with dozens of parents, all of whom told us starting after Labor Day would be their preference, one of the biggest reasons they say is an extension for their vacation seasons.

“I also have some nostalgia of coming down to Ocean City from Baltimore in the last two weeks of August,” said Salisbury resident Jennifer Marquess. “I think you’re missing a little bit of the summer adjusting.”

But with Labor Day coming later in 2020, for school officials they say it could make the decision making that much more difficult.

“With the coming year, it may make it a little more complicated because Labor Day doesn’t start until September 7, which is a whole week later,” Butler said. “So that means the school year won’t end until about June 21, June 22. So that makes it a little more complicated with the coming year.”

According to that study from BEACON, additional wages earned by workers was anywhere between 3 and 6 million dollars when kids return later. That same study also indicated that local and state government revenues increased by about 8- to 16-million, thanks to Hogan’s post-Labor Day policy.

Categories: Local News, Maryland