State Roundup: School masking requirements vary by jurisdiction

State Roundup: School masking requirements vary by jurisdiction

Gov. Larry Hogan visited the Cecil County Fair Tuesday. Governor's Office photo

SCHOOL MASKING RULES VARY BY JURISDICTION: Jurisdictions in the Baltimore area aren’t yet planning to modify masking rules in response to fresh guidance released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors under certain circumstances, Christine Condon of the Sun reports.

  • With the start of classes weeks away and debate intensifying about mask mandates in schools, Mongtomery County, Maryland’s largest district, opted for the cautious way forward, requiring that face coverings be worn by all, Donna St. George reports in the Post.
  • The Montgomery County Board of Education on Tuesday voted unanimously to require face masks indoors for all students and employees this fall, Elia Griffin reports for Bethesda Beat.
  • Students in Prince George’s County will be required to wear masks when they return to school in late August, school officials said Monday, St. George also reports in the Post.
  • Frederick County Public Schools officials had aimed to resume normal operations in August without social distancing or masking requirements. But the latest CDC announcement could affect those plans. Superintendent Terry Alban in an email said she would consult with county health officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer and anticipated making an announcement on the matter “before the end of the week,” Jillian Atelsek of the Frederick News-Post.

CHOUDHURY TARGETS PRE-PANDEMIC LEARNING GAPS: All 24 public school systems in Maryland have begun summer programs to help students catch up from learning loss induced by the coronavirus pandemic, but State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury said that it is also critical to understand learning gaps that existed before the pandemic — and to advance beyond that, Elizabeth Shwe reports for Maryland Matters.

MORTGAGE LENDER SAYS PATENT INVALIDATED BY SUPREME COURT: Imagine having invested your time and money into developing an innovative software product, then several years later having the rights to your invention rendered virtually worthless due to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, writes Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter. That is what happened to a Baltimore-based mortgage lender who invented an application that expedites the mortgage application approval process after the high court ruled in the 2014 Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision that certain abstract ideas could not in-and-of themselves be patented and therefore opening the door to third-party duplication.

CAROLINE’S ONLY CIRCUIT JUDGE ON LEAVE AMID PROBE: Caroline County’s only circuit court judge — who was previously this rural Eastern Shore community’s top prosecutor for more than a decade — is on leave this week amid an investigation, though officials are saying little, Rose Wagner and Justin Fenton of the Sun report.

JHU TO MOVE FORWARD WITH PRIVATE POLICE: Johns Hopkins University signaled it will move forward with disputed plans to create its own private police force as officials announced the appointment Tuesday of a Massachusetts police commissioner to lead institution security, Lillian Reed and Tim Prudente report for the Sun.

***Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski, Jr. invites the Baltimore County Business Community to a briefing on the disparity study the county recently completed. The briefing will be held virtually on Wednesday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please use this link to register: For more information, please email: The study examined contracts the county awarded to willing M/WBEs. Mason Tillman Associates, the consultant who completed the study, will present the findings from the disparity study and the county will provide information on the enhancements to the M/WBE Program.***

PROGRESSIVE ACTIVIST LAUNCHES RACE TO UNSEAT RUPPERSBERGER: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) appears to have his toughest Democratic primary challenger in recent memory, with Baltimore County progressive activist Brittany Oliver launching a bid to unseat the 10-term congressman, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters.

BUS BREAKDOWNS IGNORED IN MO CO SCHOOL CONTRACT: In a column for the Duckpin, Mark Uncapher writes that Montgomery County’s Public Schools signed a contract last February to buy over 300 electric school buses, converting their entire fleet by 2035. The total lifetime contract cost of $168 million is reportedly the largest local government electric bus order in U.S. History. Largely hidden from view has been the procurement’s reliance on technology from Proterra in providing the school buses electric vehicle technology platform. The company’s buses have been breaking down all over the country.

SECTY BUTTIGIEG TO VISIT PORT OF B’MORE: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will visit the Port of Baltimore on Thursday to tout the benefits of President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal, Colin Campbell of the Sun reports.

CANDIDATES FILE FOR ANNAPOLIS MAYOR, PARTY COMMITTEE SEATS: The chair of the Annapolis Republican Central Committee has filed to run for mayor, reports Brooks DuBose for the Capital Gazette. Steve Strawn, the head of the city’s Republican party, was among 20 political candidates who filed on Monday ahead of a 9 p.m. deadline to run for Annapolis elected positions that included City Council and party central committee seats.

  • Sixteen candidates have filed to run for Annapolis Republican and Democratic central committee seats, Brooks DuBose of the Capital Gazette reports. The candidates were among members of both parties who also filed for mayoral and City Council seats ahead of Monday’s candidacy filing deadline.

SOME SEEK COUNCIL DISTRICT FOR TOWSON: The commission recommending how to redraw Baltimore County’s council districts is being asked to change how Towson is represented, reports John Lee for WYPR-FM. Despite its downtown and Town Center shopping mall, Towson is an unincorporated town divvied up among four council members. It has no mayor or council of its own.

FREDERICK MAN SENTENCED FOR THREATENING BIDEN, HARRIS: A Frederick, Md., man was sentenced Tuesday to seven months in federal prison for making death threats against President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris when they were candidates during the 2020 campaign, David McFadden of the AP reports.

MARYLAND MAN CHARGED WITH THREATENING FAUCI: A 56-year-old man from Maryland has been charged with threatening to harm Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, and Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, Emily Davies reports for the Post.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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