ANNAPOLIS, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Governor Larry Hogan has issued a statement strongly criticizing the move by both the Maryland House and Senate to shift control of the calendar year to county school districts, paving the way for the school year to begin in August.
On Wednesday, the House of Delegates followed the Senate, voting in support of the measure to give power back to the districts.
The law could go into effect for the 2019-2020 school year.
Hogan’s 2016 mandate dictates that the school year must start after Labor Day, and end by June 15.
The Governor vehemently opposes the move, and could veto it. However, the House and Senate have the votes in place to overrule any veto.
The Governor’s statement suggests that if his veto is overridden, the measure could be determined by referendum:
“This is just politics at its worst. As if it isn’t bad enough that members of the legislature are attempting to reverse our common sense initiative to start school after Labor Day, they are now using heavy-handed tactics to unfairly influence the ballot process and any petition to bring this issue directly to Maryland voters.
"In 2016, after years of public outcry, I took action to return to the tradition of starting school after Labor Day. This is the same action that was recommended by the legislature’s own commission, supported by the former governor, and favored by more than 70 percent of the people of Maryland.
"Now this popular idea is being threatened by out-of-touch politicians and special interests. Members of the Maryland Senate should heed the calls of the overwhelming majority of Marylanders - reject this legislation and repudiate this thinly veiled attempt to manipulate the will of our citizens."