Most Maryland Schools Are Starting In Late August

In Maryland, most schools are starting in late August, with Worcester County, home to Ocean City, Maryland, the sole jurisdiction with a post-Labor Day start date.

As reported in the Baltimore Sun, public schools in the Baltimore region are starting in late August.

According to the Maryland State Department of Education, August 19 is the earliest school start date in Maryland. Washington and St. Mary’s counties start then. Worcester County’s September 8 start date is the latest school start date in Maryland.

The Maryland Comptroller has championed legislation requiring a statewide post-Labor Day start date to encourage additional economic activity and increased tax revenue. As described by the Office of Comptroller,

In August 2013, Comptroller Franchot released an economic development impact report on a post-Labor Day start for public schools.  Completed by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates, the report found that a delayed school start in Maryland would result in an additional $74.3 million in direct economic activity, including $3.7 million in new wages and a separate $7.7 million in state and local revenue.

Local school boards have opposed a statewide mandate to start school post-Labor Day, preferring the local autonomy to determine a start date. As described by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education,

MABE supports preserving and protecting the rights of local communities and their respective boards of education to adopt school calendars; school calendars that reflect not only state testing schedules and mandated holidays, but also other important local considerations. Local boards serve a broad constituency of professional educators, parents, students, businesses and other community groups. Local boards believe that imposing a statewide start date for the school year would impose unwarranted restrictions on the prerogative of local communities to consider and decide on their local school system calendar.

For more information on school start dates, see the full story in the Baltimore Sun, legislation including Senate Bill 455/House Bill 389 which would have prohibited public schools from opening before the day after Labor Day, and the complete list of start times and other closings and holidays from the Maryland State Department of Education.