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Rethink the post Labor Day start policy

Tirzah Khan, Managing Editor

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Gov. Larry Hogan signed a second executive order Aug. 31 mandating that schools start after Labor Day and end by June 15.

“Yay!” you must be thinking. “Longer summer!” Oh, young grasshopper. Let me educate you.

First off, the logistics don’t line up as nicely as you may have expected. There still have to be 180 days in the school calendar, but now they must fall between Labor Day and June 15. With religious holidays, professional days and breaks, that will quickly become difficult.The easiest solution would be to simply chop a few days off breaks and leave what is legally mandated, but for a lot of students (myself included) those days are a welcome pause from our stress and exhaustion from school.

Many high school students use breaks to visit colleges and work on college applications without trying to minimize the amount of time we miss from class. They also use breaks to just take a chill pill and relax with friends and family. We’ve settled into a comfortable annual routine, and Hogan is seriously messing it up.

Furthermore, he neglected to cite any data proving that students themselves benefit from the later start, which should be the main concern here. Shocking, I know! Who on earth would consider that maybe students’ educations would be impacted by the change?

Hogan’s rationale is that the late start will increase revenue for Ocean City. He showed where his priorities lie when he made his announcement right in the middle of the Ocean city boardwalk. This is just another infuriating example of lawmakers not thinking about the future of children and instead focusing on money and business.

By implementing a later start to school and an earlier ending, Hogan fails to consider the 84 percent of Baltimore City students who, according to the Baltimore Sun, are qualified to receive subsidized meals and many more who rely on the school to provide them with two meals a day.

Another major concern is the large amount of learning loss that happens during summer break, especially for under-performing and under-privileged students who may not have access to camps and jobs during the time off. Hogan’s decision was based on the best interests of fortunate families, families who will now be able to take extended vacations in Ocean City. Unfortunately, for the majority of people, that’s simply not the case.

Instead of trying to make sure that students have access to opportunities that will open doors for them in the future, he’s adding another chapter to the now familiar narrative: politicians enacting policies that favor wealthier and more privileged students at the expense of the rest of us.

To make it worse, Hogan openly scoffed at politicians hoping to reverse his order, saying that those who did “would probably lose their jobs,” which is just petty and childish of him to say. They’re not the ones blatantly ignoring the needs of students in favor of business. I think he should lose his job!

Okay, not really. Hogan is a decent dude, but he does need to rethink his decision, and maybe this time—just for funsies!—he can try considering the large percentage of Maryland students who will be jeopardized by this policy.

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