Afternoon Poll: Should School Start After Labor Day?

by Aaron Kraut — August 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm 201 3 Comments

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High SchoolMaryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) says public schools shouldn’t start before Labor Day, based on a report from his staff that found more summer vacation time would give the state a nearly $75 million economic boost.

Franchot released the report, from the Bureau of Revenue Estimates, on Thursday in Ocean City. The Eastern Shore beach hotspot would stand to gain from the additional tourism of an extra week of summer vacation.

Montgomery County Public Schools start Aug. 26, as do most school systems in the state.

The report showed seven more days of summer vacation would mean $74.3 million in direct economic activity, including $3.7 million in new wages and a separate $7.7 million in state and local revenue.

“The chance for families to spend precious time together and to build lifelong memories during that final, end-of-summer vacation has been lost by the decision to begin school a week, or even ten days, before Labor Day,” Franchot said. “Not only does this cut into the opportunity for Marylanders to spend more time together as a family, but it also has a negative impact on small businesses. In these tough economic times, we need to do all that we can to support small businesses and promote economic activity, not cause unnecessary harm to them for no apparent reason.”

One apparent reason is the state-mandated 180-day school year.

But Franchot said school systems could easily move start dates back and avoid losing school days by getting rid of some school closure dates throughout the year or adjusting winter and spring break dates.

MCPS has days with no school scattered throughout the calendar to accommodate professional days for teachers, which are in its contract with the teacher’s union. In the past, the first day of school would be before Labor Day if there were election days in the fall or the holiday fell unusually late in the year.

What do you think?

  • MrBethesda

    Maybe 20 years ago the OC businesses complained to the governor that the Univ. of Maryland was opening before Labor Day, which meant that their college-student employees left before the big Labor Day. The next year—and every year since then—the university has always opened after Labor Day.

    The school systems need to get rid of all those no-school days and shorten the spring break to a long weekend. I’m sure the kids would rather have a longer summer than a day off here and there.

  • Gfocker

    Agree mr Bethesda. It makes little sense to send the kids before Labor Day.. And why??? To squeeze in 5 days before Labor Day. Good grief!

  • Thomas Stecher

    When I went through the Montgomery County public school system, graduating from BCC in 1964, school always started on the Tuesday after Labor Day.


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