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House Follows Senate In Overriding Gov. Hogan’s Order On School Calendar

March 29th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

In Annapolis, the House of Delegates has followed the lead of the Senate in overriding Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of the bill overturning his executive order barring schools from starting classes before Labor Day. The legislation leaves it to local school boards to set the school calendar. The House approved the override 93-43. Hogan earlier said he would lead a referendum effort to put the bill on the ballot in 2020.

Hogan signed the executive order in 2016 after a legislative task force recommended a law to do the same, but the Maryland General Assembly did not act on the proposal at the time.

In floor debate Friday, House Rules Committee Chairman Delegate Anne Healy said Hogan "short-circuited" the task force's work in signing the executive order, noting it failed to consider objections from educators and school principals, who noted the governor's order placed too many restrictions on the school calendar.

"I tried to work with members of the Maryland General Assembly on a compromise bill, which was not even scheduled for a hearing," Hogan wrote in his veto message. "The legislation would have allowed any local school system that decides to start school before Labor Day to be required to put that decision on the ballot for the voters of that jurisdiction to decide for themselves. Our administration's bill would have offered genuine, local control over this important issue. Senate Bill 128 masquerades under the guise of more local control, but instead does the complete opposite of what citizens want."

Hogan also cited polls which show Marylanders support the post Labor Day school start. A Goucher College poll earlier this year found 72 percent of Marylanders favored the idea.

The order required school systems to start classes after Labor Day and end the school ear no later than June 15.

The order left many school systems asking the Department of Education for waivers to allow the school systems to extend classes past June 15, to make up for snow days.

Last year, lawmakers passed a bill granting school systems a waiver to make up as many as five school days lost to weather.

At least one area school system is considering making changes to its school calendar.

Anne Arundel County schools officials this week announced they are taking a survey of parents to determine if the 2019-2020 School Year should end on June 19, rather than June 15.

A school spokesman said classes for 2019-2020 will start on Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day.

With today's vote, it means lawmakers voted to override all three of the vetoes Hogan issued, including his veto of the bill to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

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