"Let Summer Be Summer" Campaign Collects over 13,000 Signatures, - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

"Let Summer Be Summer" Campaign Collects over 13,000 Signatures, Schools Still Not Convinced

 ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Let summer be summer.  A campaign aimed at mandating that Maryland's schools do not start until after labor day.

It's a move state senator Jim Mathias has supported from the start.

"It's priceless for the families of Maryland to spend that time together.  That's most important.  To enjoy not only what the eastern shore has to offer, but here in the state capital of Annapolis, Baltimore, our rich history there," said senator Mathias.

The comptroller and his team set out to get ten thousand signatures.  Thursday, instead they presented 13,243 signatures.  That's not counting the signature they got today from governor-elect Larry Hogan.

Although Hogan is on board with this issue, superintendents across the state, like Dr. Henry Wagner of Dorchester county, say they are concerned about a loss of productive days as the school year moves later into June.

"The relative value of instructional days in late August is much more valuable than the instructional days in mid to late June," said Dr. Wagner.

Wagner is also concerned about the one size fits all nature of this mandate.

"Local boards of educations are best equipped to handle the types of issues we are making here.  With respect to calendar, start times, dates of commencement.  Those things that are unique and peculiar to the demands of the local stakeholders," Dr. Wagner said.

Ocean city mayor Rick Meehan thinks the time can be found in the school's schedules.

"All we're doing is changing the starting date, they have complete control over the rest of the calendar.  I firmly believe they can find those three to five days each year, depending on how the calendar runs, to accomplish this goal," said Meehan.

But supporters of the change say this is a positive for the state, with the added potential of bringing in an additional 7.7 million dollars in state and local revenue.

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