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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Number of justifications for restructuring calendar

At some point over the years, state education officials
changed the way the world works for public school students. There was a time,
after all, when August was still a full month of vacation, because school
didn’t start until after Labor Day.

There are, without a doubt, any number of justifications for
the restructuring of the school calendar, with the trend in the past decade
ending the spring term earlier in June and bringing students back to schoo just
before the end-of-summer holiday.

But those justifications aside, this makes poor economic
sense for a number of reasons and most notably in Worcester County, where the
lifeblood of the economy is tourism, where extending the summer through the
full month of August can have huge impact on the financial success of the
region for businesses large and small.

Not only are tourism dollars affected, but also businesses
that rely on student labor are now scrambling to fill part-time jobs as
students leave in droves to return to school the final week of August.

With July and August being the prime months for local
businesses to make their money for the year, cutting even one week off has a
huge impact to the local economy, which depends on families throughout the
state to vacation in the resort for a full summer season. It should also be
said that budgets of many families themselves are affected by the shorter
summer vacation.

While politicians have stated the need to correct the timing
of the various school system calendars, talking about it is one thing, while
the thing to do is act is in the next legislative session to fix the problem.