The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) is following many other teachers unions fighting to keep teachers (and therefore students) out of schools. Cheryl Bost, the president of the MSEA, has consistently put forward obstacles to schools offering in-person learning. But this position, shared by many Maryland education officials, isn’t founded in public health or the welfare of students. It’s a political position.

Before school began Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and state health officials said school districts were allowed to reopen if there were fewer than five cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in their jurisdiction and if the test positivity rate was below 5%. Governor Hogan said all 23 Maryland counties had met the new state benchmarks and should begin reopening school facilities.

“As a result of our improved health metrics, every single county school system in the State of Maryland is now fully authorized to begin safely reopening,” the governor said. “Nearly everyone agrees that there is no substitute for in-person instruction.”

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