It’s Not For The Children, It’s For The Money…

The state of Maryland changed the start of the school year some time ago so that children went back to school the last week of August. In years past the children started school after Labor Day.

I thought it was foolish to change the date in the first place given that many families like to vacation that week into the holiday weekend.

Looks like some state politicians want to change it back to the way it used to be. Comptroller Peter Franchot had a petition drive to force the issue.

While it would be nice to think this was about accommodating families and their vacation plans or that it was, as liberals love to say, for the children, the reality is the request for change is based on money.

Franchot released an economic impact in 2013 (regarding starting school before the holiday) and determined that moving the start of school until after Labor Day will result in over 74 MILLION dollars of “direct economic activity.”

I have no doubt that the date change would result in an increase in money. People come from other states to vacation at the beaches (the change would not impact them per se) and folks from within the state like to go there. Starting after Labor Day would make it easier for people to plan vacations that include the holiday. The Maryland State Fair happens around that time so not worrying about school for that week would likely result in greater attendance.

I have no dog in this hunt though I never favored changing the date to August in the first place. I do think that decisions about when children go to school should be based on more than how it will help the state financially. What other factors are involved. Surely there were reasons that it was changed in the first place. If there is no good reason to start in August then why did they do it to begin with?

My preference would be to start after Labor Day as it had always been regardless of the financial windfall. It only makes sense to start children the day after the holiday rather than start them a week before only to be off for a holiday.

Regardless how this turns out I am amazed that Franchot actually stated the true purpose. Usually things government does that are designed to raise revenue (red light and speeding cameras) are couched in some feel good story like it makes us safer or it is for the kids…

Cave canem!
Never surrender, never submit.
Big Dog


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