Parents react to Gov. Hogan's school start mandate

Parents debate benefits of later school start

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (WUSA9) - Summer break for public schoolers just got a little longer in Maryland. It was a move that some parents said was overdue.

“It’s very inconvenient to us parents here in Montgomery County to have our students start school and then immediately have a week that's disrupted by a long weekend,” parent Craig Bitz said.

Rochika Chaudhry, on the other hand, liked the idea of having Labor Day as a hard finish to the summer.

“And then boom, school starts. But having said that, I'm going to say it's tricky because that's a long summer break,” she said.

RELATED: 'School after Labor Day now the law of the land in Md.', Hogan says

Chaudhry’s daughter, a fifth grader named Viveka, said that believe it or not, some students are ready to go back before Labor Day.

“Some of them who don't go on vacation and some of them who are staying home they sort of run out of things to do,” she said.

She said going back to school means being with your friends again.

For some parents, a longer summer will require deeper pockets.

“There are people who pay to put their kids in child care who are now going to have to come up with extra money,” one parent said.

Gov. Hogan sees extra money for the tourism industry, predicting $74 million in additional economic activity and lower costs for school districts that can avoid running air conditioning in August.

“It has to do strictly with lining the pockets of hotel owners in Ocean City,” another parent said. “It doesn't help kids. It doesn't help parents.”

RELATED: School officials react to Hogan's new start date

Kim Shorb, a Montgomery County teacher, is having trouble with the math. She said inevitable snow days plus a longer summer just doesn't add up.

“I don't know how they're going to keep to that schedule given the days that they usually miss during the year,” Shorb said.

There is some initial resistance from school districts throughout the state, including Montgomery, Prince George's and Frederick counties that said school calendars are a local matter.

Prince George’s County issued this statement:

Many districts like ours would have to severely shorten our calendars to reduce spring and winter breaks, cut staff development days or eliminate non-state mandated holidays.


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