Governor Hogan Issues Emergency Order to Prohibit Blanket School Closures
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today issued an amended emergency order ensuring that local schools and school systems retain the primary authority to initially determine when to safely reopen their facilities for in-person instruction based on public health guidance. Read the governor’s order.
Under an order issued April 5, local health departments continue to have the authority to close any individual facility deemed to be unsafe.
After signing the amended order, Governor Hogan issued the following statement:
“The recovery plan for Maryland public schools stresses local flexibility within the parameters set by state officials. 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.
“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.
“To be clear, Maryland’s recovery continues to be based on a 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.
“I want to thank all the parents, students, and school administrators who have spoken out in recent days about this important issue.”