2021 Legislative Session

Jackie Weisman

On November 16, 2020, MABE’s Legislative Committee adopted the following 2021 Legislative Priorities and Positions. The Legislative Committee is led by Karen Yoho, Chair (Frederick Co.), and Brenda Wolff, Vice-Chair (Montgomery Co.).

Importantly, MABE’s legislative platform for 2021 reflects the association’s recognition of the devastating health, economic, and educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the commitment to education funding and policy actions that advance equity and excellence for each of Maryland’s nearly 1 million public school students.

The 2021 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly will convene on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, and adjourn “sine die” at midnight on Monday, April 12, 2021. MABE looks forward to a successful session including the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Act and Built to Learn Act, and fully funded State operating and capital budgets to support the strongest recovery possible from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, contact John R. Woolums, MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations.

Legislative Position Statements

In addition to identifying legislative priorities for the 2021 session, MABE has adopted legislative position statements on the following major policy areas:

Priority Issues

Support for governance authority for local boards of education.

  • Specifically, MABE supports local board authority in exercising legislative, judicial, and executive functions, and to adopt education policies and school system budgets reflecting local priorities and resources.

Support for full State funding for Maryland’s outstanding public schools.

  • Specifically, MABE supports enacting the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation to fulfill the State’s constitutional duty to adopt a school funding system that ensures equity and excellence in every school.

Support for increased State funding for school construction and renovation projects.

  • Specifically, MABE supports enacting the Built to Learn Act to launch a $2 billion school construction program in the Maryland Stadium Authority; and at least $400 million in the FY 2022 capital budget for school construction & renovation.

Support for sustained and increased local government investments in education.

  • Specifically, MABE strongly supports preserving the “maintenance of effort” guarantee that local funding must be sustained and increased from year to year.

Equity & Excellence

  • MABE is uncompromisingly committed to the academic success of all students. MABE’s legislative platform reflects the association’s adoption of an equity core value, equity resolution, and equity lens.
  • For MABE, educational equity in Maryland means providing access to essential academic, social, emotional, and economic supports in order to engage each student in rigorous well-rounded instruction toward them achieving their highest potential as learners and citizens.
  • MABE pledges to reflect the core value of equity in the association's decision-making processes, including the priorities and positions of the legislative committee.

The COVID-19 Pandemic & Public Education

  • MABE recognizes the historic and devastating impacts of the ongoing public health and economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • This is also an educational crisis, forcing school closures, emergency meal distribution, transitions to digital and distance teaching and learning, and reductions in available revenues to sustain and advance Maryland’s outstanding but already inadequately and inequitably funded public education system.
  • MABE’s 2021 legislative priorities and positions reflect the association’s commitment to equity and excellence and to a strong educational recovery from the ongoing crisis on behalf of each of our nearly 1 million students.

For more information, contact John R. Woolums, MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations.

Bill Status Report & MABE Positions

During the 2021 session, MABE is monitoring all education-related bills and providing weekly bill tracking reports including MABE’s positions.

Bill Testimony

During the 2021 session, MABE will provide written and oral testimony to the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates reflecting positions in accordance with the association’s Continuing Resolutions, Legislative Priorities and Positions, and actions taken by the Legislative Committee. Many of the education bills before the legislature in 2021 reflect the unfinished business from the 2020 session (See MABE's archive of testimony from 2020 for reference). Stay tuned for updated information on bill hearings and MABE testimony during the 2021 legislative session.

House Bills

House Bill 96
TITLE: Education - High School Graduation Requirements - Application
POSITION: Support w/ Amendments
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Means

House Bill 171
TITLE: State Department of Education - School Discipline - Data Collection
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Means

House Bill 237
TITLE: State Department of Education - Early Literacy and Dyslexia Practices - Guidance and Assistance
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Mean

House Bill 342
TITLE: Education - Health and Safety of Students - Notification of Problematic Sexual Behavior
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Means

House Bill 370
TITLE: Education - Public and Nonpublic Schools - Seizure Action Plans (Brynleigh's Act)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Means and Health & Government Operations

House Bill 373 
TITLE: Education - Child Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Prevention - Hiring Emergent Employees
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Means

House Bill 405
TITLE: Special Education - Judicial Actions - Attorneys Fees and Related Costs
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

 

 

Senate Bills

Senate Bill 225
TITLE: Education - Public Schools - Seizure Action Plans (Brynleigh's Act)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

Senate Bill 231 
TITLE: Public Schools - Cyber Safety Guide and Training Course - Development, Implementation, and Reporting
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

Senate Bill 278 
TITLE: State Department of Education and Maryland Department of Health - Maryland School-Based Health Center Standards - Telehealth
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calls to Action

As MABE monitors and takes positions on bills, and Calls to Action will be distributed electronically and posted as soon as possible. If you are not receiving MABE emails, please contact Jackie Weisman, Director of Communications & Marketing.

All Board Service Academies and committee meetings are virtual during this time.

If you have any questions, please email jweisman@mabe.org.