Hogan Shrugs Off Post-Labor Day School Start Critics

Hogan Shrugs Off Post-Labor Day School Start Critics

Governor says he won't change executive order because of complaints by school boards

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Gov. Larry Hogan at a recent event.

Douglas Tallman

Gov. Larry Hogan shrugged off criticism Friday morning of his executive orders requiring school to start after Labor Day, including the possibility that the Montgomery County Board of Education might take the governor to court over the legality of the orders.

“If the Montgomery County school board goes against 75 percent of the people in Montgomery County, then they probably won’t be elected to the school board next time,” Hogan said.

Hogan spoke about the post-Labor Day school start during a discussion with state Comptroller Peter Franchot at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center sponsored by the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce and Bethesda Magazine. Journalist Lou Peck, the magazine’s political editor, moderated the discussion.

On Aug. 31, Hogan ordered Maryland school systems to start the day after Labor Day and end by June 15, beginning with the next school year. School boards were allowed to pursue waivers from the Maryland State Board of Education for school schedules that didn’t follow the plan.

County school board members, who said they believed the state’s school districts should maintain control over their calendars, fashioned a calendar that followed Montgomery County Public Schools’ regular practice of starting the week before Labor Day, and planned to seek a waiver.

Shortly thereafter, Hogan amended his first order to sharply limit the reasons that school districts would be granted waivers.

“It’s nuts. So you can criticize and you can write a hundred stories and editorials, and you can have whining people on school boards, it’s not gonna change what’s going to happen in the state and it’s what most everybody wants,” Hogan said.

Franchot said he felt “kinda bad” the governor has taken heat on the issue because he took the issue to Hogan.

Franchot said he took the issue to General Assembly for several years.

“And they embarrassed me. They called it Franchot’s Folly,” he said.

Hogan fired some more criticism at his critics on the issue.

“This is one of the most ridiculous things that I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said. “When you start out the question by saying that there’s a lot of controversy. There is really almost no controversy. There’s a handful of vocal people who want to ignore the law.”

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