Excerpts below from the Bethesda Magazine article ‘Governor tells Maryland schools to reopen by March 1, earlier than MCPS planned‘ (January 21, 2021).
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday again pressured school districts across the state to bring students back to buildings for in-person classes, giving a deadline of March 1, or face legal action.
Hogan’s announcement directly affects Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland’s largest school district, which has been in a fully virtual model since March. Last week, the Montgomery County school board voted to delay its reopening plan from Feb. 1 to March 15, two weeks later than Hogan’s deadline.
“There is no public health reason for county boards to keep students out of schools. None,” Hogan said. “This really isn’t controversial. The science is clear. Nearly everyone wants to get our students back in school.”
Still, it’s unclear what action Hogan might take if he does not feel districts are making a “good faith effort” to reopen by March 1.
MCPS RESPONSE TO GOV. HOGAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT
Full text below is from the MCPS Response: ‘Statement from Montgomery County Public Schools on Governor Hogan’s Updated Guidance on a Return to In-Person Instruction‘ (January 21, 2021).
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to the safe return to in-person learning for all students. Today (Jan. 21), Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon provided an update on the state’s recovery efforts. During the press conference, they announced a change in approach to following specific health metrics for a safe return to in-person learning and demanded that school districts across the state reopen for in-person instruction by March 1. While we appreciate the commitment to provide additional resources to assist local districts with reopening efforts, we are deeply concerned by the abrupt change to the health metrics guidance set forth by the state given that we are in the height of the pandemic.
We know many in our community will have questions about what this announcement means for our students, staff and the MCPS recovery plan. Please allow us time to thoughtfully assess these important developments and continue to prepare for a successful start to the second semester. We will continue to collaborate closely with our state and county health officials and leaders. We know that they understand and share our sense of urgency in getting students back in buildings as soon as possible and as safely as possible. Our focus remains on the academic needs and the health and safety of our students and staff.