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Readers Respond

Franchot's school proposal doesn't hold water

I have been reading with great interest state Comptroller Peter Franchot's argument that schools should start after Labor Day ("Post-Labor Day school start pushed as economic benefit," Aug. 15).

While I usually agree with him on economic matters, in this case, Mr. Franchot should put on a dunce cap and sit in the corner. Here's why:

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I'm sure he knows that public school students have to attend school for 180 days. If we start later, that means we also must end later.

Under his plan, students would need to attend school deeper into June, and last time I checked, June, too, is part of summer. His claim that we lose economic benefits in places like Ocean City in late August doesn't take into account that we now gain economic benefits in June.

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For instance, for Baltimore County Public Schools, where I teach, last year the school year was scheduled to end on June 18. Under Mr. Franchot's plan, if we started a week later, our final day would have been June 25.

It seems to me that the economic benefits just about cancel out — a week in O.C. in mid-June, or a week in O.C. in late August.

(And while it's a separate issue, I'll note that since I teach in a non-air-conditioned school, I'll gladly take my chances of working in late August over late June.)

It would be better for Mr. Franchot to worry about taxes and budgets. Please allow the school folks to run the schools.

David Shauck


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