Battle brewing over school start date in Maryland

The Maryland State Legislature wants each county to decide when its students will start school, but Governor Larry Hogan says his executive order to begin classes after Labor Day is the best move for Maryland.

Two years ago, Hogan signed an executive order forcing all counties to begin the school year after Labor Day. He said it was a decision that will be good for tourism and businesses and the environment.

Educators across the state fear the reduced calendar year could eat up time for professional
development and academic preparation, not to mention it could jeopardize the number of snow days for a given county.

It's a topic people can't stop talking about.

"They keep pushing it back further and further into August and it does impact the end of year vacations," said Richard Morales of Severn, Md.

"I think it should be universal and I think it should be like it was years ago for grandparents and
parents that thought of that as being the last fling before the kids go back to school," said Helen Lawlor of Annapolis.

Hogan held a press conference Thursday doubling down on his position to start the school year after Labor Day, but state Senator Paul Pinsky (D-MD,) who introduced the bill that would allow the 24 Maryland counties to decide on its own, says the governor's rationale doesn't make any sense.

"For people who talk about less government, to put a state mandate on a school calendar just to please business owners in Ocean City, I think puts those companies ahead of the million students across the state," said Pinksy.

The legislature will finish voting on amendments to the bill Friday. Next week, the Senate will vote. The bill will then go to the House and if passed, it will be sent to the governor's desk.