Notes from Governor Larry Hogan’s Press Conference with State School Superintendent Karen Salmon

by MCS Staff

Notes from Governor Larry Hogan’s Press Conference with State School Superintendent Karen Salmon Including Updated School Reopening Guidance

The notes below, from Governor Larry Hogan, have been paraphrased:

There is no public health reason for school boards to be keeping students out of school.

The science is clear and nearly everyone wants to get the kids back in school.

President Biden has made the reopening of schools one of his top priorities.

Dr. Fauci has said our default position should be to keep kids in schools or bring them back into schools.

School reopening do not contribute to community spread.

Our health metrics are beginning to show signs of plateauing.

In earlier stages of the pandemic it was a very tough decision for schools board’s to make, but now it’s clear that keeping students out of school is a far greater risk than bringing them back to school.

Today we are urgently calling on all county school systems to return to hybrid instruction no later than March 1 if not sooner.

We have taken the step of providing 2 million masks, hand sanitizer, etc. for schools.

Each school system has plans for vaccinating their staff.

These safe and effective vaccines have made returning to normalcy possible.

More than 1.2 billion in federal funds have been made available to every school system in the state.

The vast majority of Maryland teachers desperately want to get back into schools and I want to make it clear to the union that we expect the teachers to return to the classroom.

Chicago has cut off pay, South Carolina has threatened to take away teaching licenses for those who do not want to return. We don’t want to take that kind of action, but if school systems to begin to make an effort we will explore every legal avenue at our disposal.

By law the decision is up to the county school boards. I will do what I can do within the law to push to get the students back in the classroom.

State health officials are providing counties with additional protocols and educational design recommendations: Maryland School Reopening Guidance

Governor Hogan and Dr. Salmon have written to teachers union leaders asking them to aid in this effort: Letter

The notes below, from Dr. Chan, have been paraphrased:

New guidance for school reopenings based on experience from other states and counties.

Little evidence that school reopenings are a major driver in levels of community transmission.

Transmission in schools is relatively uncommon when there is effective implementation of mitigation strategies.

Maryland has had several schools open across the state with very few outbreaks.

Students under 10 are less likely to spread the virus.

Disruption of school meals, psychological and mental health services.

School reopenings should not be based on the availability of vaccinations or the levels of vaccinations.

Based on research and other considerations, more specific educational options.

The notes below, from Dr. Salmon, have been paraphrased:

Local school students should plan immediately for the return of students to in-person instruction by no later than March 1.

Parents and students who wish to remain in a fully virtual environment should be afforded the option to do so.


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Dillon Grenham January 21, 2021 - 4:47 pm

I am a teacher. I want to go back to the building but I can’t get an appointment for a vaccine. Please help teachers get the vaccine before sending us back. Many of us are in our 50s & 60s. We have spouses with pre-existing conditions if we ourselves don’t have them. Send the vaccines to the schools and let teachers get vaccinated at there workplaces. Pharmacies and hospitals don’t have appointments available to teachers even though we are a priority group.

Danny Y January 21, 2021 - 7:53 pm

I dont know how authorities are overlooking the obvious. The transmission data shows low for kids BECAUSE they have been home, they dont go out to work. Whoever said parents are desperate to send kids too school is completely wrong! Some of us dont want to gamble our kids lives. If you are desperate for your kids to go back to school be my guest, I ll wait to see what happens .

MCPS Responds to Gov. Hogan: "Our Focus Remains on the Academic Needs and the Health and Safety of Our Students and Staff." - The MoCo Show January 21, 2021 - 9:32 pm

[…] Notes from Governor Larry Hogan’s Press Conference with State School Superintendent Karen Salmon […]

Ortega January 22, 2021 - 9:08 am

I assume the delay in reopening MCPS schools was due to the response to the survey that were sent out to complete.? As mentioned, kids, thank God, have not gotten the virus because they’re home. We have a 1st grader & her kindergarten time was interrupted a bit, but she’s doing great with the new schedule. It’s not easy but I know most kids have adjusted.
We also have a 7th grader & she’s doing great, just trying to get her to show her face, but does all her work. Unfortunately, we moved right before the pandemic started so for summer it was new schools for both. The health is much more important, can’t imagine having the kids go through all the horrible experiences that the adults go through. At this point, we would reevaluate for the fall. I hope things are close to normal. ?


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