Petition Exceeds Signatures Goal for MD Schools to Start After L - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Petition Exceeds Signatures Goal for MD Schools to Start After Labor Day

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.- A petition to delay the start date for Maryland public schools has picked up a lot of support. 

According to the Maryland Comptroller's Office, the "Let Summer Be Summer" petition, which calls for schools to start the day after Labor Day, has garnered 13,240 signatures. It exceeded the goal of 10,000 signatures.

The petition was introduced last year. It was the result of a governor's task force that recommended a later start date. This is already the case for students in Worcester County, the only school system in the state that allows it.  

Debbie Worden of Salisbury would like to see the same for her grandchildren in Salisbury.

"I think schools should start the day after Labor Day because the families have more time to be with one another , to be on their vacations, get more quality time," Worden said.

Worden said a later start benefits teachers as well.

"I mean, they have families, too," said Worden, whose sister is a school teacher.

Sen. Jim Mathias (D-Dist. 38) introduced Senate Bill 455 to the 2015 Maryland General Assembly. The bill prohibits schools and publicly funded kindergarten programs from opening for student attendance before the day after Labor Day. 

Mathias said the bill never made it out of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee, but he is working with the Maryland State Education Association to seek common ground. New legislation will be introduced during the 2016 Maryland General Assembly.

According to the bill, the latest study by the Maryland Comptroller and the Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE) reports that starting school the day after Labor Day would result in an additional$74.3 million in direct economic activity and an additional $7.7 million in new state and local government revenue. 

However, the Department of Legislative Services notes that much of the report's estimated direct economic activity will not be additional.

The "Let Summer Be Summer" petition is still open for signatures.

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