Peter Franchot Wants to Send Kids to School in July

Last year, we talked about Peter Franchot’s dishonest crusade to require schools to open after Labor Day. Franchot is continuing with his cockamamie idea this year, trying to use phony economic arguments and pretending to conveniently ignore the fact that State Law requires that students attend school for 180 days.

So now that the school year is open, it would a good time to point out that Peter Franchot wants to send public school kids to class in July.

Don’t believe me? The 2015-16 Anne Arundel County School Calendar sets the last day of school for students as June 17th. If school started after Labor Day, as Franchot wishes it to, the school year would need to add 11 days to the calendar at the end of the year assuming that other days off during the year were not changed, and assuming that there were no additional days added to the calendar for snow. That means that the school year in Anne Arundel County would not end until July 5th.

Under Franchot’s plan, the school year would eat up even more of summer, and would mean that kids in Anne Arundel County would be going to school until after the 4th of July! I’d like to see Franchot’s economic study that shows how much revenue would be lost if that were the case.

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I’m old enough to remember when we did start school after Labor Day. We also finished school a lot earlier than June 17th, too. The school calendar experienced mission creep at some point, adding more and more and more days off from educational instruction. To continue with the Anne Arundel example, there are now three scheduled breaks of one week or more (at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter). Years go, schools were only closed on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Thanksgiving week, and then only Good Friday and Easter Monday. That’s six extra days off that weren’t there. Throw in the MSEA annual conference, which is a day that schools are closed so taxpayers can fund union political activities, and that’s seven extra days in the calendar that don’t need to be there. That at least, under Franchot’s plan, would put the last day of school back in June.

On it’s face, I have no problem with school starting after Labor Day. However, it’s Peter Franchot’s cockamamie, ill-reasoned, and disingenuous arguments as to why school should start then that I have a problem with. Franchot is merely looking for an issue to be the public face of, and isn’t really concerned with consequences or being an honest broker when selling his idea to the public.

If Franchot were truly serious, he should start advocating that the General Assembly tackle reforms aimed at adjusting how the school year is calculated so school systems have more flexibility in scheduling. If he’s not willing to do, Franchot will show he’s willing to “let summer” be exactly what it is now.

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