School is Out, Summer is In

Christina Hershey

37 schools in Baltimore County are with out air conditioning according to Governor Larry Hogan.

Only a few weeks into the 2016-2017 school year, and several Baltimore County public schools have already canceled classes on several occasions due to a heat wave. Now since some of the county schools can’t seem to fit something as simple as air conditioning into their budget, wouldn’t a delayed start to the fall semester make sense?

Governor Larry Hogan’s order for Maryland public schools to start after Labor Day, effective Fall 2017, has caused tension among educators and democrats. Of course governor Hogan’s primary motivator is not exactly to prevent children from dying of heat stroke right in front of their peers and educators. His intentions to, “maintain a great business community” by extending the tourism season in Maryland by a single week, however, could produce and circulate a significant amount of revenue in the state’s economy which can ultimately be reintroduced into the school system.

CCBC Honors student, Ritesh Guatam spoke out in the CCBC honors lounge about how initially he was opposed to the idea of a delayed start to the school year, but that when he thought about it, he realized, “Most of us are here for three to five days the first week of classes, dealing with the same old things, the syllabus and getting to know each other, which are ultimately a waste of time.”

It is mind-boggling how much a week’s worth of syllabi and icebreakers are worth to educators and democrats. Some of the biggest arguments against this change in the school system are fundamentally that our students are bound to suffer from summer learning loss.

Can a single week really cause that much damage? Several generations prior to current students were able to attend school after Labor Day and still receive and maintain a healthy education. It should not be a problem for this generation, especially when taking into account the vast amounts of helpful technology that is at their fingertips.

Sabrina Costa, a high school senior currently enrolled in CCBC’s parallel enrollment program felt strongly about the issue. She said, “our schools are either too hot or using too much energy at the end of August and the very beginning of September. It doesn’t make sense to start school and then immediately have a three day weekend.”

Other arguments include those that discredit Hogan’s right to even put these kind of constraints in place. But why wouldn’t he have the authority to modify the beginning of the school year if it is with in the state mandated 180 required school day’s? The school board can do whatever it has to do to maintain the 180 school days as long as students are in after Labor Day and out by the middle of June.

In the past, the plan to delay the start of the semester until after Labor Day has had unwavering support across Maryland. These tensions that have only just started to bubble to the surface of our community do not phase Governor Hogan as he insisted in an interview with the Baltimore Sun, “School after Labor Day is now the law of the land in Maryland.”

*Articles reflect the views of the author and or those quoted and do not necessarily represent the views of CCBC or the CCBC Connection.

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