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Teachers' union official blasts governor on school start mandate

Annapolis, MD - Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 31, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan joined Comptroller Peter Franchot in Ocean City to announce a new executive mandate forcing all school districts to delay the start of school until after Labor Day in order to benefit the bottom line of the tourism industry. Maryland State Education Association Director of Government Relations Sean Johnson released the following statement:

"When it comes to our public schools, there’s one word that Gov. Hogan thinks of: cuts. Cuts to school funding, cuts to the school year—he prioritizes cuts over developing real, detailed strategies to reduce over-testing, close achievement gaps, and expand proven reforms like pre-kindergarten, after-school programs, and community schools.

“Forcing all schools to begin after Labor Day won’t help students do better—and research shows that it can worsen summer brain drain among students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. It’s abundantly clear that Gov. Hogan is more interested in grabbing headlines than employing research-backed solutions that could make a difference for students. Cutting back the school year and extending summer is not a solution to any education problem—it’s just another Gov. Hogan school cut. And it’s not only a cut—it’s a summer tax on the thousands of working families who don’t have the extra money or vacation time to spend in Ocean City but who will now be forced to scrape together hundreds or thousands of dollars annually to cover additional child care costs from a longer summer.

“Instead of focusing on unproven distractions that benefit private entities like parochial schools, national charter school operators, and the tourism industry, we urge both Gov. Hogan and Comptroller Franchot to focus more on addressing the 47% teacher turnover rate within their first three years in the profession, the over-testing that takes away hours of instruction every year, and how we can better support the 45% of Maryland students who are low-income with proven reforms like expanding pre-K, after-school programs, and community schools.”

Governor Hogan’s Record on Education

His first budget proposal included more than $600 million in public school cuts over four years
He has withheld $93 million in school funding allocated by the legislature in bipartisan budgets during the last two years
He proposed a charter school bill that, if passed, would have significantly shifted funding from traditional public schools to charter schools
He started a $5 million private school voucher program that takes money from public schools and sends it to private schools
He is now forcing school districts to start their school years after Labor Day, cutting the school year to help the tourism industry’s profits

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