Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order to start the 2017-18 school year after the Labor Day holiday has many of the local schools in frenzy. The next academic school year will begin on September 5, 2017, ending classes on June 15, 2018. Yesterday, Anne Arundel Board of Education voted in favor of trimming down Christmas and spring break. And extend the school year. The Christmas break will only be reduced by one vacation day, with all board members in agreement, excluding Tom Frank and Eric Grannon, who were absent from the meeting.
Public schools are required by state law to close on national holidays such as Good Friday and Thanksgiving. School boards and school employee unions work together to negotiate in-service, early dismissal and the number of closed school days. However, Hogan criticized the board members for curtailing spring break, but continued to uphold his executive order to extend the start of the school until after Labor Day.
The inclement weather closings are incorporated into the calendar has been reduced down to three from five. If more than this allotment is required, the district will seek a waiver from the state and hold classes on Easter Monday, if necessary. The calendar also includes three days for the Thanksgiving break and three days for parent and teacher conferences.
Hannah Marr, Gubernatorial spokeswoman, responded to Anne Arundel County’s decision to trim down the spring break, saying, “Starting school after Labor Day is a common-sense move that Maryland families clearly want and deserve. While we are pleased that Anne Arundel County is complying with the governor’s executive order, it is disappointing — and misleading — that the school board is opting to reduce spring break when the proposed calendar includes a dozen full or partial union service days. This is yet another example of out-of-touch bureaucrats choosing to please teacher’s union operatives instead of putting students and parents first.”