To those who object to Larry Hogan’s new rule requiring schools to open after Labor Day, the governor has a simple message: He doesn’t want to hear it.
As first reported by the Sun, Hogan had some sharp words for his critics when answering a question about the matter on Friday at the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce. “This is one of the most ridiculous things I have heard in my entire life,” he said of the controversy.
Hogan has drawn criticism for issuing an executive order in late August that requires schools across the state to open their doors to students after Labor Day. He issued a follow-up order earlier this month that limits charter schools and other institutions from working around the rule by seeking an exemption.
Democratic leaders and some school officials have deemed it an overreach, but the governor seems not to think too much of their gripes. “There’s a handful of vocal people that want to ignore the law, and the overwhelming majority of Marylanders” support it, he said.
Hogan claimed that he had heard from teachers saying they were elated about the new rule and wanted their unions who dislike it to back down. He also blamed the media for stirring up controversy.
Supporters of the change cite the numerous closings at the beginning of the school year in late August and early September caused by excessive heat. That issue reared its ugly head this year for Baltimore City and County schools lacking air conditioning.
Hogan noted while that the state legislature created its own commission to study whether to postpone the start date and that its members approved the change in a 12-3 vote.
“They answered every one of these trivial, silly, stupid things that are now being mentioned by the handful of people that oppose this. And they answered all the questions,” he said. “They said it doesn’t do anything to education, it’s terrific.”
Watch Hogan’s full comments on the issue below.
Ethan McLeod is an associate editor for Baltimore Fishbowl.