Gov. Larry Hogan Credit: File photo by Andrew Metcalf

Gov. Larry Hogan last week sent Montgomery County education officials a sharply worded letter that urged them to focus on the “series of recent troubling incidents in schools” rather than second-guess his mandate on the school calendar.

The March 29 message came in response to the school board’s request that Hogan reconsider an executive order directing schools to begin classes after Labor Day and finish them by June 15. Board members argued that the mandate created a calendar crunch, resulting in lost teacher planning and training time and difficulty identifying potential snow make-up days.

However, Hogan wrote that his executive order was not to blame for the academic calendar that the school board approved in February. He faulted the nine full or partial professional days for teachers that the county school system builds into the calendar.

“It is unacceptable for students to miss this much classroom time and force parents to alter their schedules or find childcare during the school year, when this professional development could easily take place during the summer break,” he wrote.

Board President Michael Durso said Tuesday that Hogan’s letter seemed to be conflating various factors, but he added that the governor is “entitled to his view.” Durso said board members “look forward to working with the governor going forward” and declined to comment further on Hogan’s letter.

The governor’s correspondence, addressed to Durso, concluded with a barb about student safety in a school system reeling from the March 16 reported rape at Rockville High School.


“Considering the series of recent troubling incidents reported in Montgomery County schools, I suggest you and your colleagues consider shifting your focus from arguing over which 180 days class is in session to ensuring that students are safe in your schools,” he wrote.

3.29.17 Hogan Response Re Calendar by Bethany Rodgers on Scribd