OPINION: New Law Passed by Governor
October 7, 2016
Filed under Opinion
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Governor Hogan just recently signed a bill that enforces all Maryland public schools to start after Labor Day. Everyone was thrilled to hear the news because they looked at the positives of the law, but people need to consider the negatives as well. That said, the positives will benefit a wide spectrum of people.
For the 2016-2017 school year, students have a total of 24 days off of school which include winter and spring break, professional development days, and holidays. We all know that the number of days off will significantly increase when you include delays and snow days. What happens when the new law is in effect?
If this school year was moved to next year, we would be going to school close to the end of June or possibly even going into July. Who on earth wants to be going to school that late? With school being moved by about two weeks, meeting the requirement of 180 days will be incredibly hard. Another part of the law includes that school can’t go past June 15th. So, in order to go to school all 180 days, that means spring break and winter break will most likely be shortened significantly and professional development days and holidays will be taken away.
If they don’t take away those days, then we would be going to school the same time as kids who should be in summer school and somehow we are getting out on the 15th in June, too. How is that supposed to work?
For the positive outlook, summer should be longer since school won’t start until September. This is something everyone has been asking for for quite a while. Teachers will have more time to plan assignments for the following school year and change their curriculum to fit BCPS’s constant change in policies. Students will be able to spend more time with their parents, work longer to earn more money, and have more time to themselves to unwind after a long and exhausting school year. The only thing that gets kids through the year is that summer is slowly, but surely, approaching. Businesses will flourish with student employees and vacation spots will gain more money due to kids having a stretched summer. This gives us time to party a little more and sunbathe until we burn. School being forced to end by June 15th allows summer to be significantly longer compared to previous school years.
There is no denying that Governor Hogan signed this new bill in the best interest of students because we are the ones who will be impacted by it the most. However, there are still flaws and they could potentially make the actual school year less enjoyable created by the reduced amount of vacation days while at school. Most kids rely on the vacation days through the school year as short trips with their family or days to work on long and exhausting projects.
The issue could be solved by simply reducing the amount of days we go to school. 180 days takes up 49% of our year. That is practically half of our year being spent in a classroom staring at the clock to reach 2:15! If that number was reduced by 10-20 days and the school day was extended by 30 minutes (15 in the morning and 15 in the afternoon or just 30 in the afternoon), the increased time will add up to several school days by the end of the year.
Baltimore County is going through a lot of changes with the new grading policy and with this, we now need to figure out how to adapt to these changes to make them more realistic for our future.