UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Prince George’s County may be joining a growing list of school districts that will start school before Labor Day next year.
So far, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s and Frederick counties have decided to start school Aug. 31, one week before Labor Day, and on Thursday, the Prince George’s Co. School Board took a preliminary vote to do the same.
Howard County Public Schools will start even earlier on Aug. 25.
It’s a controversial issue — parents FOX 5 spoke to in Upper Marlboro said they prefer school to start after Labor Day, while several educators and a student said starting before Labor Day was their preference.
Three years ago, Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order mandating that Maryland Public Schools start after Labor Day. He argued it gives families more time together and provides a boost to Maryland’s beaches and tourism industry, letting families have that last weekend of summer.
Earlier this year, Maryland’s General Assembly overturned Hogan’s executive order, in part because of complaints from school systems that they should be in control of their own calendar.
In Prince George’s Co., it’s not a done deal yet. Board vice-chair Edward Burroughs said PGCPS parents and teachers will be surveyed on their preference before the board takes a final vote next month.
“If a majority of parents weigh in and say they want school to start after Labor Day, I’m sure my colleagues would consider that,” Burroughs said.