ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 26, 2021) – Comptroller Peter Franchot today issued the following statement as students and educators return to their classrooms for the start of the new school year:

“Like so many Marylanders, I’m greatly concerned about the surge of COVID-19 cases in our state and across the country. This surge comes as families are preparing to send their kids back to school – with great uncertainty on how the Delta variant will impact the health and welfare of students, teachers and staff. The COVID infection rate among children is the highest it’s ever been.

“That’s why I support a statewide mask mandate for schools, mandatory vaccinations for school employees, and daily testing for school employees who have religious or health exemptions. Additionally, I call on the State to work with local governments and school systems to ensure that all eligible children, educators and staff have convenient access to vaccines. School systems must also provide parents with the flexibility to decide the mode of learning that’s best for their children, whether it’s in-person, hybrid or virtual.

“Our collective fight against this pandemic that has killed nearly 10,000 Marylanders and infected more than 489,000 of our friends and neighbors is far from over. When it comes to the health and welfare of our children, we can’t take enough precautions to ensure that they are able to safely learn. What’s more, these necessary health precautions aren’t just for our students, but also for our educators and staff. They and their loved ones deserve the certainty of knowing they won’t be jeopardizing their health to do the job they love.”

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