March 20, 2018

Exhibitors Welcome at Annual Conference


Our Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus is now available online! We welcome businesses, associations, and organizations that provide products and/or services to Maryland public schools to join us for our Annual Conference October 4-6 in Ocean City.  

Blumsack Recipient of Award


MABE is pleased to announce the selection of Kathryn F. (Kitty) Blumsack, former MABE Director of Board Development,  as the recipient of the 2017 MABE Excellence in Education Award.

The award was established in 2012 by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education to honor then-retiring executive director Dr. Carl W. Smith. It is presented to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and service to excellence in public education in Maryland. Nominations for this award may be submitted only by Maryland school board members, and must be supported by no less than three individuals.

Blumsack was hired by MABE in 1999 to create a comprehensive professional development program for board members. In the intervening 17 years, she came in contact with a majority of school board members across the state, either through New Board Member Orientation, the Annual Conference, or the myriad of workshops and programs she designed for individual and whole board training.

The award submission stated, “This nominee has provided board members and, very often, superintendents and their senior staff, the training, support, and mentoring they need to understand the parameters of their job, the nature of their relationships, the continual changes, and the urgency of the task at hand. High functioning boards, we’re so often told, result in high functioning schools. And high functioning boards in Maryland are generally the result of the education provided by this nominee.”

According to MABE President Joy Schaefer, “As the beneficiary of many professional development opportunities designed and often presented by Kitty, I am thrilled at the choice made by the awards committee. I cannot imagine a more worthy person to be recognized for her leadership, contribution, and service to Maryland education."

The award will be presented at the Maryland Association of Boards of Education Annual Conference in Ocean City, Maryland, in October 2017.

Join Us! MABE Reception at NSBA Conference

Start your 2017 NSBA Conference by making time to connect with your Maryland colleagues! Join us in Denver at the Pinnacle Club, 38th Floor, Grand Hyatt Denver Hotel, 1750 Welton Street, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. 

NSBA Conference                      Why Attend the NSBA Conference?

Many thanks to our reception sponsors:

AlliantCarney Kelehan Bresler Bennett & Scherr LLPFranklin & Prokopik, HavtechJohnson ControlsKPPC, PKLaw, Prudential, Source4Teachers

2017 LSA Seminars Announced

Dates have been set for the 2017 Legal Services Association Seminars. All seminars are held at the Anne Arundel County Board of Education building in Annapolis. Details are available on LSA's website page

Legislative Luncheon, Feb. 9


Sponsored by Senator Addie Eckardt, MABE’s Annual Legislative Day Luncheon provides a forum for legislative leaders to share their perspectives and positions on education funding and policy issues and for local board members to advocate for MABE’s legislative priorities.  The President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and education and budget committee chairs and vice-chairs present remarks, share lunch, and engage local board members in lively discussions. All members of the House and Senate are invited and many attend looking for their local boards and their input on pending bills.

RAIN OR SHINE – Thursday, February 9, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Miller Senate Building, Annapolis, MD

Pre-Luncheon Meeting for Legislative Committee Members, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Convenient parking at Navy/Marine Corps Stadium

Details of scheduled speakers to follow.

For additional information please contact Tracy Oldaker, 410.841.5414 or

BoardDocs Webinars

MABE BoardDocs Subscriber Experience, August 11 – Free Webinar

As the pioneer of eGovernance, MABE BoardDocs has helped nearly 2000 organizations dramatically lower costs, increase transparency and reduce the time spent producing board packets by up to 75 percent.

Going way beyond simply distributing PDF files, MABE BoardDocs cloud-based solutions are so easy to use, your organization will operate more effectively from day one. MABE BoardDocs' next-generation, paperless services allow organizations to significantly improve the way they create and manage board packets, access information and conduct meetings.

Join us and see how governing bodies across the nation are saving money and time with MABE BoardDocs.

Click the REGISTER link above right to register. This event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Hosted by:

Kathy Hanks
Howard County School District

Tom Duncan
VP of Sales

Salmon Appointed New State Superintendent


Guffrie M. Smith, president of the Maryland State Board of Education, today announced that Karen B. Salmon has been named Maryland state superintendent of schools. MSDE Press Release

Dr. Salmon will begin serving as acting superintendent on June 1, and take the helm as state superintendent one month later. She will succeed interim state superintendent Jack Smith, who earlier this year was named the next superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools. 

Salmon, a long time Maryland educator, most recently served at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) as acting deputy state superintendent for school effectiveness. She began her career as a special education teacher in Caroline County, and then moved to an administrative position in Talbot County public schools. She rose to county schools superintendent and remained in the position for a decade. In 2013, Salmon become superintendent of Bay Shore Union Free School District in New York, and returned to Maryland in 2015 to accept the acting deputy position at MSDE.

MABE president Warner I. Sumpter stated, "On behalf of Maryland’s 24 school boards, we congratulate Dr. Salmon on her appointment and look forward to working collaboratively with her to continue Maryland’s tradition of excellence for all public school students.”


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
  • 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.


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 or 410-841-5414.