The Washington County Board of Education decided not to support an effort for the county lobbying coalition to advocate for state legislation requiring the school year to begin after Labor Day.
Board member Justin Hartings, who represented the school board at a lobbying coalition meeting, took the issue before the board at the end of its Oct. 16 meeting. Each member of the coalition, which includes the school board, can veto an agenda request for the coalition, he said.
Hartings said his personal view was that items the county lobbying coalition advocates should focus on Washington County. Issues the school board wants for the school system should be pursued through the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, which advocates for all local Maryland school systems, he said.
The Maryland State Department of Education and local school boards should maintain control of school year calendars, Hartings said.
Each school board member raised a hand to signify the board does not want that item on the upcoming agenda for the coalition.
Hartings said the request seemed to come, primarily, from the tourism industry. The argument is that delaying the start of school until after Labor Day would boost tourism, he said.
— Julie E. Greene