Md. State Board of Education Will Discuss School Mask Mandate on Tuesday

    On Tuesday, the Maryland State Board of Education will hold a virtual meeting to reevaluate the emergency statewide school mask mandate that was enacted at the beginning of the school year. 

    Board members will hear from the Maryland Department of Health, parents, students, state organizations and national experts about their thoughts on the mask mandate, according to the agenda. 

    Pixabay.com photo by educadomarcrossv.

    In August, the State Board of Education approved an emergency universal masking mandate for this academic year and state lawmakers gave final approval in September, requiring all teachers, students, staff and visitors to wear masks inside school buildings. 

    During the September public hearing, proponents of the mask mandate contended that it was necessary to allow students to return to classrooms with as little disruption as possible, while opponents criticized the statewide mask mandate for undermining local control.

    The emergency regulation is set for 180 days, but it could be rescinded sooner than that, according to Clarence Crawford, president of the Board of Education. The state board has been evaluating COVID-19 metrics, such as number of positive cases and quarantines among teachers and students in each of its board meetings after the statewide mask mandate went into effect. 

    Marylanders can register for public comment, which is limited to 20 individuals, until 3 p.m. on Monday. 

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    Elizabeth Shwe
    Shwe covered California state politics during her internship at The Sacramento Bee. She is a 2020 graduate of Princeton University with a degree in political science. At Princeton she was a producer for WPRB 103.3 FM News & Culture section, the station’s only long form podcast-type program. Shwe also wrote for The Daily Princetonian, and tutored with the Petey Greene Program, which offers free tutoring to incarcerated people. Shwe is a Report for America corps member.