MABE’s Legislative Committee holds monthly meetings to guide the association’s lobbying activities in Annapolis, and invites policy and legislative leaders to exchange ideas. MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations, in coordination with the leadership, conducts direct lobbying activities including written and oral testimony before the General Assembly. MABE coordinates the Green Street Coalition, which is comprised of legislative liaisons from school systems and the superintendents association, and produces the GreenSheet newsletter highlighting MABE's positions, bill status updates, and Calls to Action during the legistative session.
MABE's top priorities for the 2013 Legislative Session include:
Support for continued governance autonomy for local boards of education to set education policy and school budgets; and opposition to unfunded mandates
MABE supports continued autonomy for all local boards to adopt education policies that promote high standards for academic and fiscal accountability. Therefore, MABE opposes any legislative or regulatory initiatives which would have the effect of reducing local board governance or budgetary authority, or which create unfunded mandates.
Support for full State funding for Maryland’s outstanding public schools
MABE urges the continued support of the Governor and General Assembly for full funding of public education in the FY 2014 State Budget. Our public schools are ranked Number One in the nation. Sustaining Maryland’s success at this time of rapid change and rising expectations to prepare all students to be career and college ready will require increased per pupil spending. Therefore, the FY 2014 State Budget should build on last year’s per pupil amount of $6,761 by an increase based on inflation.
Support for robust State funding for school construction and renovation projects
MABE places a high priority on providing students high quality, healthy, and safe learning environments. Therefore, we greatly appreciate the State’s consistent investment of between $200 million and $400 million in school construction and renovation projects. The FY 2014 school construction budget should meet or exceed the $350 million provided in last year’s FY 2013 capital budget to ensure that all Maryland schools are better learning environments to prepare our students to be college and career ready.
Support for sustained local government investments in education
Local government funding plays a critical role in each of Maryland’s twenty-four school systems to support continuous improvements in teaching and learning in the classroom. Therefore, MABE strongly supports the “maintenance of effort” reforms enacted in 2012 to ensure that adequate local operating funding is provided. Similarly, MABE supports sustaining adequate local capital funding essential to financing the construction and renovation of high quality school facilities in partnership with the state.
For additional information, contact John Woolums, MABE's Director of Governmental Relations, at (410) 841-5414 or email@example.com.