- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - A Maryland State School Board member has quit following Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order requiring schools to start after Labor Day.

Board members had previously expressed concern over the order. Last week, Hogan said local school board officials raising concerns are being “whiny.”

Local news organizations report that University of Maryland professor James Gates resigned Tuesday after seven years on the board, saying the order has the potential to damage students in Maryland. He also suggested that Hogan’s order challenges the board’s authority and independence.

“I do not now confidently work in an environment I perceive as supportive of education nor respects the independence of the Board,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “When I accepted to serve, it was my understanding the laws of Maryland were very clear about the independence and the authority of the State Board of Education with regard to policy in this domain.”

Doug Mayer, Hogan’s communication’s director, said Hogan plans to fill the vacant seat “in the near future.”

Hogan signed the order in August, requiring all public schools to start classes after Labor Day and end classes by June 15. Hogan later amended the order, narrowing the conditions under which most school districts could get a waiver to be exempted from the mandate.

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