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What does the Hogan Labor Day order mean for private and religious schools?

Liz Bowie
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
How are Maryland's private schools impacted by Gov. Hogan's Labor Day order?

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's executive order forcing public schools to squeeze 180 days of required class time between Labor Day and June 15 will not apply to private schools.

Hogan announced on Wednesday that he was signing an executive order to keep students from going back to school before Labor Day. The order goes into effect in September 2017. School calendars have traditionally been set by local school systems.

Maryland law does dictate that non-public schools, which include religious and independent schools, must have at least 170 days of school. Those schools are also required to have a school calendar and to build in three to five additional days that schools can close for bad weather.

“Our understanding is that this does not effect independent schools,” said Peter F. Baily, executive director of the Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools, which includes  parochial and other religious schools. Many independent schools start after Labor Day and end in the middle of June, although he said their school years are shorter.   

Loyola Blakefield, a Jesuit school for boys in grades six through 12, starts after Labor Day, and does not build its calendar around the public school calendar, said Robert Robinson, director of marketing and communications.

“It really doesn’t effect us,” he said of the governor’s executive order.  

The governor's spokesman, Doug Mayer, said the governor does not have control over private schools. The legal basis for the executive order falls under the state constitution which gives the governor authority over the executive branch of government. Mayer said based on case law, local school boards are considered part of state government.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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