Larry Hogan’s Monday: An Emergency Order on Schools; New Demands from SBE

Gov. Larry Hogan overrules Maryland's largest jurisdiction after it issued an order to close private schools.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issues a revised emergency order that overrules Maryland’s largest jurisdiction on closing private and parochial schools.

PLUS, Hogan demands the State Board of Elections (SBE) explain, within 48 hours, its plan for Maryland’s November election.

Hogan overrules Montgomery County Health Officer’s order that closes private schools

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan kicked off the first Monday in August with a bang.

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles on Friday canceled in-person instruction for Montgomery County’s private, parochial and religious-based schools until October 1.

Gayles cited ongoing safety concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

On Saturday, Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted his disapproval, saying that he “strongly disagreed “with Montgomery County’s decision.

Hogan said that he believes parents and teachers – not politicians – should make decisions about their private schools.

Around 12:30 p.m. Monday, Hogan announced that he revised an emergency order from April that overturns Montgomery County’s local directive.

The governor said in a statement Monday that Gayles overstepped his role in issuing the directive, calling it “overly broad” and “inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer.”

Additionally, Hogan said that “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 communities.”

The governor’s order ensures that individual school systems retain the primary authority to initially determine when to safely reopen their facilities for in-person instruction, based on public health guidance.

Montgomery County and state leaders pushed back instantly against Hogan.

Gayles did not respond to Hogan’s order. He told media that he’s not a politician.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D), on the other hand, suggested Hogan’s is operating “under a different set of political pressures” and questioned how the governor separates public and private schools.

Parent Activists 

A sub-plot to the weekend drama is the speed at which Montgomery County parents began to organize.

A man kicked off a MoveOn.Org petition drive that garnered thousands of signatures; a Montgomery County citizens organized a Facebook group that grew to over 3000 people within 48 hours; another man organized a rally in Rockville on Wednesday in protest of the county’s order.

Governor Hogan Demands Action From State Board of Elections on Mail-In Voting and Polling Places for General Election

Larry Hogan is demanding the Maryland State Board of Elections (SBE) provide an update within 48 hours on the status of mail-in voting and polling places for the November 3 general election.

On July 10, the governor directed the State Board of Elections to send mail-in ballot applications to all registered Maryland voters. His administration is actively encouraging state employees and college students to serve as election judges.

Hogan is pressing the state board to explain why mail-in ballot applications haven’t been mailed.

He said the State Board needs to explain how it will conduct an election under existing Maryland law, including the minimum number of polling places needed to open in each county.

Hogan’s letter expressed concerns over polling places being closed, particularly in minority communities.


About News in 5 Minutes or Less

Each weekday, A Miner Detail Editor in Chief Ryan Miner breaks down two Maryland trending news topics in five minutes or less.

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