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Eastern Shore School District Votes To Start Classes After Labor Day

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On Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Worcester County Board of Education has voted to change the start of the next school year to after Labor Day — making it the only county in the state to do so in the last five years.

This longstanding debate is pretty simple: Some say the pre-Labor Day ringing of the school bell hurts resort businesses in Ocean City because it cuts short the vacation season, and it forces seasonal student workers to leave town earlier than their employers would like.

But school officials argue that the extra time is needed to prepare for exams and an earlier last day of school is just as valuable for families and local businesses.

So, it came as a shock to many parents when the Board of Education took the vote earlier this week, because a post-Labor Day start wasn't even an option on the recent parental surveys that came home in their kids book bags.

Board of Education President Bob Rothermel said in a statement, "I didn't mind being the last school district in the state to go before Labor Day, and I don't mind being the first school district to go after Labor Day. Maybe it will send a message."

Regionally, only Virginia keeps schools closed until after Labor Day, part of what has come to known as the King's Dominion Law after the Richmond-area amusement park.

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