Md. Comptroller Makes "Let Summer Be Summer" Case at Senate Hear - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Comptroller Makes "Let Summer Be Summer" Case at Senate Hearing

(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md. -- At a Senate hearing Wednesday afternoon Maryland elected officials and business owners from Ocean City made the case for a later school semester start date.

Md. Comptroller Peter Franchot, who is leading the measure, testified about the benefits of the "Let Summer Be Summer" initiative, a bill proposing all Maryland public schools to start after Labor Day.

A petition signed by more than 13,000 Marylanders, including Governor Larry Hogan, support the initiative as it would help generate an additional $74 million in revenue for the state and local economy.

Starting school after Labor Day would give teen workers more time to help businesses through the busy end-of-summer weekend.

"That's how traditionally it's always been," said Brad Hoffman, father of a 7-year old who attends Ocean City Elementary.

"When we shifted earlier and earlier, before you knew it businesses couldn't function properly 'cause the kids were back in school," Hoffman said.

At Fat Daddy's in Ocean City, manager Mykola Bartosh said if every teenage worker they employed during the summer left at the same time in August, business would suffer.

"They're helping us very much because right now the workforce is pretty much limited," said Bartosh. "So their help is very convenient for us."

Aside of any potential revenue generated for the economy, parents WBOC spoke to said starting school after Labor Day makes more sense in that there are less days taken off so soon after summer. Those parents said it's not productive for students to be in school for roughly four days before another three or four-day weekend that a pre-Labor Day start date offers.

But it's largely superintendents and school administrators who oppose any delayed start date.

That's because the state mandates 180 days of instructional time for students, which could be hard for administrators to meet if there's a post-Labor Day start.

Maryland Senator Paul Pinksy also opposes the idea since the bill appears to favor business profits rather than students. Senator Pinksy suggests the state look closely at year-round school or other creative ways to benefit students.

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