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September 2, 2016

His Excellency and Labor Day

Harry M. Covert

All the hullabaloo about starting school after Labor Day in Frederick County and the rest of Maryland is interesting and not the least bit entertaining.


Bluntly, Gov. Larry Hogan's executive order, with the endorsement of Comptroller Peter Franchot, scheduling public school openings officially after Labor Day is mighty fine.


Wouldn’t you know it, before His Excellency even signed the document and officially announced the decision, his so-called friendly opposition was already blabbing no-no's with threats to force a legislative denial. Such stuff never stops. In this case most people, parents, students and business people love and support the governor's ruling starting for the 2017-18 school sessions.


Quite naturally if Mr. Hogan reported from Annapolis the sun was red, from a political perspective, his contraries would come up with a reason to say he was blind.


But who cares? Teachers have been preparing for the 2016 New Year, coaches and players are readying for the fall football season. Even cheerleaders with colorful chrysanthemums and bands are prepared. The National Anthem is ready.


Sure seems difficult for the smart people to adjust for the good of their schools, anxious students and citizens to higher authority.


No, obfuscation and obstinacy always comes into play from administrators, faculty, teachers, their unions local and state, and politicians, who think it's their job to disrupt everything that should be simple. Even local legislators and the state senate's president are threatening to override the governor's decision.


What's the matter with all these people? That was a rhetorical question.


Returning to school was always fun and after Labor Day. Lots of families were ending summer vacations, local businesses enjoyed an upside in sales and hometown newspapers printed high school and college football schedules, individual stories and pictures of the players. Students and teachers enjoyed themselves.


Politicians, teachers and their betters ought to leave Mr. Hogan's decision alone. There are other far more important educational matters to consider. They could stop efforts at re-writing history. How about year-round schools? Why not six-day school sessions? I'm kidding about extending the class week.


That local communities should lead the education business is proper and correct. But, the state has a bounden duty for leadership. In the present situation the governor has every right and duty to set the rules.


Maybe he should use the classic maneuver of late governor William Donald Schaefer. He often communicated with many opponents at midnight. Letters were hand-delivered by state troopers ... attention getters for the press and the disrupters. Clever, at the very least.


The job of educators is to educate, not fool around with unions who like to threaten strikes and work stoppages. Teachers are the backbones of society. What a wonderful profession.


Classes after Labor Day are perfectly good. All the conversation about changing school day numbers, snow days, teacher work days or other red herrings can be settled easily.


I heard something about Fair Days may be an issue in Frederick. Just make them class trips. Easy.


There is no forgetfulness here. I should amend this piece this way. The Annapolis virtuoso Mr. Hogan is a Republican. His opponents, you need not guess, are Democrats, who like to be designated progressives.


Shame, shame, shame.


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