Baltimore County May Open Schools on Jewish Holidays

The school board expects to vote Tuesday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 6, 2017 8:16 PM CST
Officials Debate Keeping Schools Open on Jewish Holidays
   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Baltimore County school officials are set to decide whether schools next year will be open during two Jewish holy days for the first time in about two decades. The Baltimore Sun reports that the county school board expects to vote Tuesday on whether students would be required to attend school on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in September 2018, per AP. Officials have had to develop new calendars after Gov. Larry Hogan put in place new requirements that schools begin after Labor Day and end by June 15.

School board member David Uhlfelder says it would cost the system between $300,000 and $500,000 to pay for substitute teachers to fill in for Jewish teachers. If the schools are kept open on the Jewish holidays, one day would be added to spring break. Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for Hogan, said it was "outrageous" that county officials were considering the change when they can find time to close schools for a teacher union convention in Ocean City. "Most jurisdictions have managed to adopt a common sense calendar that prioritizes what students and families want, and Baltimore County could easily do the same," Chasse said.

(More Baltimore stories.)

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