Maryland Governor Larry Hogan overruled county health officials after they bluntly attacked private schools.
Local health officials in Montgomery County, Maryland last week declared that private and parochial schools would be ordered closed through October for in-person teaching because local public schools decided to remain closed.
The attack on private schools that wish to open caused Hogan to amend his emergency executive order allowing county health officials to close facility they deemed unsafe.
I have issued an amended emergency order ensuring that local schools and school systems retain the primary authority to determine when to safely reopen their facilities. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/DGcF5EBxx6
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) August 3, 2020
The executive order was meant for flexibility according to Hogan.
“The recovery plan for Maryland public schools stresses local flexibility within the parameters set by state officials,” Hogan said in a statement. “Over the last several weeks, school boards and superintendents made their own decisions about how and when to reopen public schools, after consultation with state and local health officials.”
Hogan also added that “private and parochial schools deserve the same opportunity and flexibility to make reopening decisions based on public health guidelines.”
“The blanket closure mandate imposed by Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer,” Hogan said, adding that the state’s recovery “continues to be based on flexible, community-based approach that follows science, not politics.”
“As long as schools develop safe and detailed plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community,” he said, thanking parents, students and school administrators “who have spoken out in recent days about this important issue.”
Montgomery County Public Schools have decided to start school with virtual-only instruction.
The decision by Montgomery county to restrict private schools comes as teachers’ unions are trying to keep schools closed from re-opening in-person instructions. It seemed to be a handout to public schools trying to stop the steady drip of parents taking their kids out of public school.