Hogan’s order ignores low-income kids
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to extend Maryland’s summer recess until after Labor Day miscalculates the impact the executive order has on Maryland’s low-income families (“A week later, Hogan’s executive order still roiling Maryland politics,” Sept. 7).
In Maryland, 180,000 children live in low-income working families, with 60 percent of these children living in a single-parent household. Unfortunately, vacationing in Ocean City is far from a reality for most families under Governor Hogan’s extended summer recess. Instead, younger students will stay in the house either alone or under the supervision of an older sibling. Some parents might be lucky enough to find a willing neighbor who will keep an eye on the kids while they juggle low-paying jobs and the erratic schedules often associated with these positions.
In summer, school break expenditures can exacerbate a fragile, low-income household budget. The average family will spend $958 per child for summer enrichment activities. The cost of day camp averages $271 per week, and the most affordable summer camps fill quickly. Even when a parent finds an affordable camp, transportation may be a barrier.
This is the sad reality Governor Hogan ignores.
Aweek at the beach, family vacations and meeting new friends at summer camp — these images are through the lens of families who can afford such lifestyles. Without additional local resources for summer enrichment programs, barriers to end poverty grow and the summer academic achievement gap continues to widen.
There are many ways to do what is in the best interest of all Maryland students. An extended summer recess is not one of them.