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Hogan: ‘Almost No One Disagrees’ Schools Should Reopen

January 25th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

The day after calling for schools to reopen for in-person learning by March 1, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan acknowledged he can't exactly force districts' hands.

“I don’t have the power to order the schools to open in our state. Some governors do and have. I don’t have that power," Hogan told WBAL Radio. "In Maryland, it’s the newly elected and appointed school boards. Many of them have. Some of our largest ones in our more urban and suburban communities, and where we have the most diversity of the student population; some of them just refuse to even consider opening at all. It’s not acceptable.”

Hogan added that virtually no one with an informed opinion opposes resumption of in-person learning….

At a news conference Wednesday, Hogan, state Superintendent Karen Salmon and Acting Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Jinlene Chan said the data support schools reopening, regardless of whether teachers have been vaccinated. Under Phase 1B of the governor's COVID-19 vaccination strategy, teachers now have access to the vaccine.

Salmon and Chan said being away from physical learning not only causes learning loss but can lead to depression and anxiety while making it harder to access services like meals best provided at school. Hogan stressed that even if schools reopen for in-person classes, parents would ultimately be able to choose whether their children go back to school buildings.