Maryland Governor Exempts Private Schools from Shutdown Order

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks at a press conference in March 2020. | YouTube/Governor Larry Hogan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday issued an emergency order clarifying that private schools are exempt from a county order mandating the closure of schools until October.

Montgomery County officials had issued an order prohibiting both private and public schools from holding in-person classes until at least Oct. 1 in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

However, in the emergency order, Hogan exempted private academic institutions, saying they could dictate their own decisions on whether to hold in-person learning.

In an accompanying statement, the governor explained that his recovery plan for schools in the state “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,” stated Hogan.

“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.”

The First Liberty Institute and the American Association of Christian Schools expressed their support for Hogan’s order in a joint statement emailed to supporters.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski