Maryland Governor Overrules Montgomery County Health Officials Closing Private Schools
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland overruled local health authorities’ statements mandating all private schools to go virtual until at least Oct. 1 on Monday saying that it was an overstep in local power.
“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,” said the Republican governor.
“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,” Hogan said.
Because of Hogan’s order, private schools now have the ability to choose whether to reopen. The executive order still ensures that local health officials can force certain school closures if there is a valid health basis.
The Archdiocese of Maryland has also granted the choice to Catholic school students on whether or not they should attend school in-person or online.
On Friday, Montgomery County officials released a statement mandating the closure of all private schools. While Montgomery public schools were already beginning the semester with virtual learning only, County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles ordered that all private schools remain closed through at least Oct. 1.