Letter from the Editor – Hogan the Hero

Hollywood, MD – That was quite a call by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan last week. On the sands of Ocean City, amid much cheering, Hogan declared by executive order that, henceforth, public school in Maryland won’t start until after Labor Day.

I should like this plan for nostalgic reasons, right? Back when I went to school—yes, kids, they called it ‘school’ even back then, just like they do now—classes would never begin until the day after Labor Day. For some inexplicable reason all that changed in Maryland in 1969—the beginning of my senior year of high school, not that that has any significance to this issue. So, it’s been about three generations of starting school before Labor Day, should a school or school jurisdiction so desire.

There are a lot of reasons to like the post Labor Day start. It seems long winter and spring breaks might cause students to lose academic momentum. A longer summer gives students an opportunity to find a decent summer job, the family a chance to take a longer vacation and it will afford summer school students opportunities for meaningful remedial or enrichment classes instead of cram sessions. Additionally, students will spend less time in classes that are at the mercy of the school building’s chiller. If it malfunctions, a literal and figurative meltdown might occur within the classroom.

The cynic in me, however, says this was done for political reasons. The other state advocate, Comptroller Peter Franchot, has declared since he is a Democrat and Hogan is a Republican, there is no political agenda. Yet there sure seems to be some pandering. Ocean City is supposed to reap the economic benefits. However, with all its high rise condos, hotels, restaurants, conventions, charter boat fishing, amusement rides and the salty Atlantic, the potential for OC to enjoy a robust economy regardless of when school begins and ends has never been better. Additionally, more and more Marylanders are going out-of-state for their ocean fix. How does that benefit the state?

Consider for a moment what might have happened two years ago if then-Governor O’Malley had declared his intention to mandate a post Labor Day public school opening. His declaration would likely be loudly panned by the same people who are praising Hogan. They’d claim he was grabbing authority away from the jurisdictions and local boards of education—obviously trying to get his hands on more amusement tax revenue. At the same time, would the Maryland State Education Association have jumped on the anti-O’Malley bandwagon? After all, union leaders have made no secret of their unhappiness with Hogan’s executive order.

Hogan is Maryland’s “Teflon Governor” and his call is going over quite well. The BayNet conducted a poll and you, our readers, overwhelmingly support the post Labor Day start. Even a conservative Carroll County newspaper has pretty much hailed the executive order as the greatest thing to happen to public schools since the invention of tater tots.

Whether this plan works or not remains to be seen. It has before. The only thing that could really louse it up would be if our next president decides to move Labor Day.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the management and staff of The BayNet.

Contact Marty Madden at

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