Md. State Board of Education member resigns over back-to-school order

Larry Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan

BALTIMORE — Gov. Larry Hogan is getting more pushback on his mandate that all public schools start after Labor Day — including from his own State Board of Education. Some of the State Board members appear to be driven by personal  self interest for some times now.

 S. James Gates, the vice president of the state board and a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, announced he was resigning from the board Tuesday and in a letter to Hogan said the governor’s executive order “has the remarkable potential to damage both the most at risk and the most ambitious students in Maryland.”

In August, Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order mandating that all public schools start classes after Labor Day and end classes by June 15. Earlier this month, Hogan amended the order, narrowing the conditions under which most school districts could get a waiver that would exempt them from his mandate.

 Before Tuesday’s meeting, state board member Chester Finn, expressed concern about Hogan’s move saying it took away a measure of local control and that Hogan may have “undermined” his own state school board.

Last week, Hogan called local school board officials who object to the change and have raised concerns “whiny.”

 Doug Mayer, Hogan’s communication’s director, said in a statement to WTOP that the governor thanks Gates “for his tremendous work.” Hogan plans to fill the vacant seat on the state board of education “in the near future,” Mayer said.

“Ultimately, state board members are free to their own opinions — misguided as they are — but that won’t stop Governor Hogan from doing what is clearly right and what the vast majority of Marylanders want to see done,” Mayer said.

102516 Gates Resignation Letter by wtopweb on Scribd


S. James Gates, the vice president of the state board and a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland ought to have resigned a long time ago with Dr. Lilian Lowery for engaging in misconduct. Mr. Gates has no principled stand and has made questionable decisions driven by what appears to be  personal self interest instead of helping the children of Maryland. It’s good riddance for sure!


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