Governor Hogan’s Veto Overturned: Local Boards Regain School Calendar Powers

In 2016, Governor Hogan signed an executive order to require public schools to start their school years after Labor Day. However, some school systems have “struggled to meet the requirement that students receive at least 180 days of instruction,” leading to the General Assembly passing legislation handing school calendar powers back to the 24 local school boards across the state of Maryland in SB 128 Community Control of School Calendars Act.

Those against the bill have cited that the majority of Maryland citizens are in support of school calendars starting after Labor Day. However, those in favor of the bill have argued that the ability for school boards to create their own start and end dates once again would allow for each Board of Education to better accommodate for religious holidays and inclement weather.

On Wednesday, Governor Hogan vetoed SB 128; this veto was overturned by the Senate after 15 minutes of debate the following day. The House voted to overturn the veto at approximately 11:35 AM on Friday, therefore returning decisions back to local boards.