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The Joint Committee On Administrative, Executive & Legislative Review (AELR) will hold a meeting today at 10:00am to take up the State Board of Education emergency regulation to require masks inside public schools.

Here is the agenda for the meeting at 10:00am:


Here is information on the emergency regulation being discussed and voted on today (DLS Control No. 21-110):


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Here is additional background from Maryland Matters: Legislative Panel To Vote on a Universal Mask Mandate in Public Schools


22 of the 24 jurisdictions in Maryland have already imposed mask mandates in schools. There are two holdouts at this point: Carroll County and Somerset County: Updated Mask Mandates in Maryland Schools: Carroll County and Somerset County are hold outs to implement the proposed state mandate of mandatory masks in schools

In Carroll County on August 31st: Carroll County Board of Education votes to hold off on the statewide school mask mandate until after it is approved by the General Assembly

In Somerset County on September 2nd:

The Somerset Board of Education convened in a special closed session meeting on Thursday, September 2, 2021 to discuss confidential legal matters and to perform executive administrative functions. When reconvened in open session, Board Chairperson, Penny Nicholson informed the audience that the Somerset Board of Education unanimously approved Masking Policy #200-27, which makes masks optional for all students and staff effective immediately.

The new board policy will be posted to the Somerset County Public Schools website on Tuesday, September 7th for public viewing. Comments can be sent to the Somerset Board of Education at boardmeeting@somerset.k12.md.us.

The press release can be viewed here:
https://www.somerset.k12.md.us/apps/news/article/1488921


I would expect some interesting testimony during the public hearing from potentially a few jurisdictions in Maryland.

If I had to guess I am betting that this emergency legislation is passed today. The question on my mind is will it pass as is or will this part be changed or modified:

The State board requests emergency status beginning August 30, 2021, and expiring February 25, 2022. This emergency period is within the normal time frames approved by the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review. The State board indicates the emergency status is necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland public schools, prevent public school closures, and limit the number of students required to quarantine out of the classroom during the 2021-2022 school year due to COVID-19. 

I will have a follow up article tomorrow. Keep an eye on the Scott E’s Blog social media accounts for updates today.

Article update: Watch the AERL session LIVE here:

Scott E

4 COMMENTS

    • Because masks in schools do not work. They are a political prop that should be kept off kids faces. If it was really about safety they would mandate masks rated for covid not random pieces of cloth.

  1. If local school boards can’t make decisions for their own communities why have them?
    Given current state of covid right now masking makes sense but any mandate needs to be based on metrics.
    Right now they can keep the mandate indefinitely and arbitrarily. If numbers drop to a certain level masks need to be optional.

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