Maryland Governor Larry Hogan took decisive action to get partisan politics out of the classroom and let schools rather than politicians decide how best to ensure Maryland children continue to receive a good education amid the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The governor took action after liberal Montgomery County officials ordered private and parochial schools to close their doors, with heavy penalties including up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Outraged by the county’s overreach, a group of “parents whose children attend Catholic, Jewish and secular schools” filed a lawsuit to block the county’s directive.
Governor Hogan quickly offered a strong rebuke of the policy that imposed a different standard on parochial and private schools than local public schools, stating that all schools should be treated equally and “[a]s long as these schools develop safe plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community.”
On Monday, Governor Hogan put pen to paper and enacted an amended executive order declaring that local schools and school systems “retain the primary authority” to determine when to safely reopen, in keeping with his commitment to adhere to a “flexible, community-based approach that follows science, not politics.” Washington Examiner Senior Columnist Tim Carney called Governor Hogan’s move “a victory for religious and private schools,” and the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board called it “a victory for common sense.”
“By taking swift and decisive action to put a stop to partisan overreach, Governor Hogan delivered a win for parents, students, and educators in Montgomery County and across the state,” said RGA Communications Director Amelia Chassé Alcivar. “Governor Hogan’s common sense, data-driven approach is keeping Marylanders safe while ensuring that working families and children can continue to succeed through this critical time in our history.”