School Board vote requires 3.5 hours of live daily instruction

Posted at 11:47 AM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 17:16:12-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — In a Tuesday vote, the Maryland State Board of Education required grades K-12 in all schools to receive a daily average of 3.5 hours of real time virtual learning.

Under the terms, there will be 180 - 6 hour school days.

Meanwhile half-day preK students will receive 1.5 hours of daily instruction.

The Board agreed to offer technical support and work with local districts, to insure they're able to meet the new requirements.

Before Tuesday's vote Governor Larry Hogan tweeted, "It’s essential that we work together on flexible hybrid plans to safely begin getting some of our kids back into classrooms."

RELATED: Gov. Hogan: Every Maryland county school system can safely reopen

To that end, the Board says schools choosing to remain online should reevaluate after nine weeks or the end of the first quarter.

Revised plans will then have to be resubmitted to the Maryland State Department of Education for approval.

Last week, Hogan and State Superintendent Karen Salmon cleared schools to begin a safe return to in-person classes.

The vote drew quick reaction from the Maryland State Education Association, who's been critical of Hogan and Salmon's last minute guidance changes.

“While this gives districts time to meet new standards, we are also deeply concerned with discussions of looking to move to expanding in-person learning later this year without also expanding resources or measures to protect the health and safety of educators and students," said President Cheryl Bost.