December 17, 2017

Archives for April 2016

Diabetes Student Health Services Bill Passes

 

Legislation passed in 2016, with amendments supported by MABE, to require the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), to establish guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of health care services to students with diabetes and provide specified technical assistance to schools to implement the guidelines (HB 771, "Public Schools – Administration of Diabetes Care Services – Guidelines").

Thornton 2.0 Passes

 

The Senate has passed Senate Bill 905, the “Thornton 2.0” legislation to create the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education and the House has now passed similar legislation, House Bill 999. The House did adopt amendments which limit the scope of local school system master plan updates through calendar year 2017 to include updates on student assessments and the performance of students requiring special education and limited English proficient students. In addition, the amendments require MSDE to convene a group of stakeholders to review the current statutory and regulatory requirements of the master plan and the new requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

Senator Nancy King is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 905; and Delegate Ann Kaiser is the lead sponsor of House Bill 999. This legislation represents one of MABE’s key legislative initiatives in 2016 and is a priority bill supported by a broad coalition of organizations in educational advocacy community. The goal is to convene legislative leaders and education, business, and local government stakeholders to craft legislation to ensure the long-term adequacy and equity of funding for students in public schools statewide. The legislation is modeled on the 1999 legislation which created the “Thornton” Commission and led to the passage of the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act in 2002.

MABE strongly supports this legislation to create a blue ribbon commission on education funding to begin the process of translating the work of the consultant’s funding adequacy studies and recommendations into legislative proposals for comprehensive funding reforms. The new “Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education” will review the current education financing formulas and accountability measures and make recommendations for updating and enhancing the funding formulas established by the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act of 2002. The Commission is to provide a preliminary report to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 2016; and a final report by December 31, 2017.

 

 

Procurements for Construction

 

Urge the House Appropriations Committee to VOTE NO on SB 515 – Procurements for Construction or Repair of School Projects

To voice your opposition to SB 515 – Use these links to the Appropriations Committee and the Appropriations Committee Roster.

Members of the House should oppose Senate Bill 515 to protect the use of cooperative purchasing by school systems for school facility projects.25,000 in state capital funding should not bar the use of intergovernmental cooperative purchasing, or piggybacking, for school construction projects.

  • $25,000 in state capital funding should not bar the use of intergovernmental cooperative purchasing, or piggybacking, for school construction projects.
  • This bill would significantly disrupt school system procurement practices – and overturn settled Court of Appeals case law.  
  • Board of Public Works regulations clearly allow “intergovernmental cooperative purchasing” and “piggybacking” to provide cost benefits, administrative efficiencies, and promote governmental cooperation (COMAR 23.03.03.12).
  • This bill would interfere with school system efforts to achieve cost savings and efficiencies. 
  • Large and small school systems rely on piggybacking to save time and money and benefit from the staff work done in another system.  
  • Taxpayers benefit from the cost savings school systems are achieving under the current law.

Urge delegates to protect the use of cooperative purchasing and VOTE NO on Senate Bill 515.

To voice your opposition to SB 515 – Use these links to the Appropriations Committee and the Appropriations Committee Roster.

Background

This bill passed the Senate only after a very contentious floor debate. Senators from Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Harford County and Cecil County offered amendments to be exempted from the bill. While none of the amendments were adopted, the votes were close, and it demonstrated strong opposition to this bill as it crosses over to the House. Now is the time to lobby members of the House, specifically members of the Appropriations Committee, to oppose passage of this Senate bill. 

MABE opposes Senate Bill 515 because it would prohibit the use of cooperative purchasing or piggybacking on other government contracts for the purchase of materialsrelated to school construction or repair projects. The prohibition would apply to all projects for which state funding of more than $25,000 is provided in the state capital budget.     

In 2015 and prior sessions MABE joined the Baltimore County Board of Education in opposing a local bill to prohibit the purchase of roofing repair services for public schools through an intergovernmental purchasing cooperative. Importantly, the Maryland Court of Appeals had already ruled in favor of the Baltimore County Board of Education, finding that a county board of education may purchase roofing repair services for public schools through an intergovernmental purchasing cooperative when it acts pursuant to authority granted by the Board of Public Works in its regulations.

For more information, contact MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations, John R. Woolums at jwoolums@mabe.org or 410-841-5414.