December 17, 2017

Priority Issue: Opioid Crisis: Education & Student Health Services

 

Opioid Crisis: Education & Student Health Services 

Heroin/Opioid Education & School Health  (HB 1082/SB 1060) (Del. Bromwell/Sen. Miller)

Legislation enacted in 2017 requires significant new iniatives in local school systems in the areas of curriculum development, school nurse and health services staff training, the provision of Naloxone for overdose responses, and school and community outreach coordinated with local health departments. 

This legislation:

(1) requires the State Board of Education to expand an existing program in the public schools to encompass drug addiction and prevention education (specifically heroin and opioids);

(2) requires each local board of education to establish a policy requiring each public school to store naloxone and authorize school personnel to administer it;

(3) requires each local board of education or local health department (LHD) to hire a county or regional community action official or to develop an equivalent program;

(4) requires the Governor to include a general fund appropriation of at least $3.0 million in the fiscal 2019 budget for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to award grants to local boards of education to implement the bill’s policy and training requirements;

(5) requires each institution of higher education in Maryland that receives State funding to establish a policy that addresses heroin and opioid addiction and prevention, including awareness training for incoming students, obtaining and storing naloxone, and training of campus police (or other designated personnel);

(6) requires certain institutions of higher education to offer instruction in substance use disorders; and

(7) requires MSDE to convene a workgroup and submit a report on behavioral and substance abuse disorder services in public schools. The workgroup includes MABE representatives, and must make recommendations by Dec. 1, 2017. The bill takes effect July 1, 2017.

MABE supported this bill with amendments to clarify several provisions regarding the roles of local boards and local health departments, the training of school health personnel, and the role of the newly established community action officials. MABE greatly appreciates to cooperation of Senate President Miller and Delegate Bromwell, vice chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee, in accepting MABE’s requested amendments. (MABE Testimony


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