Criticism singling out Ocean City business interests as the impetus behind Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order changing the public school starting date stunned local industry representatives, judging from comments at the Sept. 12 Ocean City Tourism Commission meeting.
Press reports of Hogan’s Aug. 31 Boardwalk media event declaring a post-Labor Day start for Maryland public schools next year included comments from opponents who accused the governor of putting Ocean City’s tourism interests before the educational needs of Maryland children.
Commission member Michael James, president of Hospitality Partners and managing partner of the Carousel Group, said he was surprised by reports questioning Hogan’s decision to go around the Maryland General Assembly, which earlier this year killed a bill that attempted to change the school year calendar.
“I’ve been surprised by the criticism,” he said. “The press has been negative.”