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Maryland Bill Proposes Post-Labor Day Start To School Year

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Some businesses on the coast are advocating for Maryland public schools to begin the academic year after Labor Day.
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Some businesses on the coast are advocating for Maryland public schools to begin the academic year after Labor Day.

For decades, Maryland schools started after Labor Day, meaning the three-day weekend was much more than just the symbolic end of summer; it also marked the end of the so-called 100 days of summer in Ocean City that some seasonal businesses on the coast survive by.

But in recent years, schools across the state have been starting earlier. Some kids go back to school now in mid-August, and that, has posed some problems for businesses up and down the coast.

Local merchants say one less week of summer profits in August can mean the difference between survival and going out of business, so former Ocean City mayor and Democratic state Sen. Jim Mathias has revived an initiative first pitched by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot last year, called the "Line in the Sand" bill that would push the start of the school year to after Labor Day.

Franchot estimates that this move would mean millions of dollars in revenue to the state, and more importantly, to help sustain seasonal businesses on the coast that rely on tourism.

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