VERIFY: Who decides when Maryland students go back to the classroom?

Governor Hogan wants students back in classrooms by March 1. The state teachers union has pushed back. Who makes the call?

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — When will Maryland students get back in the classroom?

Governor Larry Hogan has called for all schools to return to some form of in-person learning by March 1.

“It is abundantly clear that the toll of keeping students out of school far exceeds any potential risk of having students in school where they belong,” Gov. Hogan said last week.

Since then, the state’s teacher’s union has pushed back, saying COVID-19 safety protocols aren’t in place yet.

Who decides when Maryland students return to the classroom?

Gov. Hogan’s Office and the Maryland State Board of Education.

To get the answer, we started by calling the Maryland State Board of Education.  Quite simply, no one person or one group decides when all Maryland students get back in the classroom. According to a spokesperson, it’s a local school district decision.

In Maryland, there are 24 school districts. They are made up of 23 counties and Baltimore City.

Each school district controls the decision when its students will go back to classroom learning.

However, according to the State Board of Education, within each district, that is decided differently. That decision is either made by the elected school board for the county or, in some cases, by just one person the superintendent.

This means Gov. Hogan has no real authority to get students back in classrooms. He can encourage and demand, but, ultimately, who goes back and when is a local decision.

It will be 24 different decisions on when classroom learning resumes in the state of Maryland.

Download the brand-new WUSA9 app here.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.