The Runback: H is for Hypocrisy
Mask Mandates bring up memories of another local control issue for schools
Welcome to another week of The Runback. Have you been enjoying The Duckpin? Do you have comments or suggestions? Do you want to write for us? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Thanks in advance.
This week, we talk with State Senator Michael Hough. Hough has served in the State Senate since 2014 and is now running for Frederick County Executive.
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The Monday Thought
Last week, the Maryland Board of Education past an emergency regulation mandating mask use at public schools across the state of Maryland. This eliminated the patchwork approach of different counties having different mask mandates determined by the differences in composition of the local Boards of Education.
Many Republicans, including Governor Larry Hogan, were opposed to the Mask Mandate, They believed that the decision was best made by local Boards of Education based on the conditions in their counties. Maryland Democrats, on the other hand, supported the statewide mask mandate, saying that it was in the best interests of children.
Let us take you now back to September 2016. Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order at that time mandating that schools not begin their academic year until after Labor Day starting with the 2017-2018 School Year. His Order superceded the local decision making authority of local Boards of Education. His Order was widely supported by Republicans in the General Assembly. Democrats, on the whole, opposed the order, believing that the decision was best made by local Boards of Education based on the conditions in their counties. Ultimately, the Democrats passed a law overturning this decision in 2019, a rare victory for local control in the Democratically controlled General Assembly.
This entire exercise proved that both parties in Annapolis are only interested in local control of schools when such local control coincides with their other political interests.
I know it’s not a surprise that such situational ideologies exist in politics. But I have always prided myself on not changing my position on an issue based solely on which party was proposing it at any given time. A lot of Republicans I know, for example, began supporting statist ideas when lifelong Democrat Donald Trump became the Republican standardbearer, for example.
I’m not asking for much here; all I want to see are elected officials who believe what they believe and don’t change their minds on such fundamental issues of government depending on whether or not its politically advantageous to them.