2021 Legislative Session

Jackie Weisman

 

2021 Priorities and Positions

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 convened on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, and adjourned “sine die” at midnight on Monday, April 12, 2021. MABE is celebrating an extraordinarily successful session including the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Act and Built to Learn Act, and the immediate and long-term investments in public education made through the State operating and capital budgets to support the strongest educational recovery possible from the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 Session Summary Presentation (PDF)

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.

2021 Session Bill Status Report

During the 2021 session, MABE monitored all education-related bills and provided weekly bill tracking reports including MABE’s positions. The following report has been updated to reflect all education-related bills passed by the General Assembly, bills which failed (highlighting those opposed by MABE), and indicates whether the bill has become "chapter law" following the Governor's approval. The Governor may do so by signing the bill or allowing ti to pass without his signature. Any vetoes are also indicated.

  • Bill Report (Post-Session Bill Status, Updated April 20, 2021)

 

MABE Testimony

During the 2021 session, MABE provided 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 reflected the unfinished business from the 2020 session (See MABE's archive of testimony from 2020 for reference).

House Bills

House Bill 27
TITLE: Education - Reporting Arrests of Students -
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 28th, 2021
COMMITTEE: Judiciary

House Bill 34
TITLE: State Department of Education and Maryland Department of Health - Maryland School-Based Health Center Standards - Telehealth
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 27th, 2021
COMMITTEE: Health & Government Operations

House Bill 71
TITLE: Juvenile Services Education Board and Program - Establishment, Powers, and Duties
DATE: January 28, 2021
POSITION: Support with Amendments
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 28th, 2021
COMMITTEE: Judiciary, Ways and Means

House Bill 72
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Student Transportation - Vehicles
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Means

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 97
TITLE: Department of Housing and Community Development - Office of Digital Inclusion - Established (Digital Connectivity Act of 2021)
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 26th, 2021
COMMITTEE: Economic Matters

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 264
TITLE: Solid Waste Management - Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion - Food Residuals
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 27, 2021
COMMITTEE: Environment and Transportation - Established

House Bill 266
TITLE: Student Education Equity Grant Program (Student Education Equity in Funding Act)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 3rd, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

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 and Means

House Bill 377
TITLE: Commission on Student Behavioral Health and Mental Health Treatment
POSITION: Support with Amendments
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 401
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Pregnant and Parenting Students - Policies and Reports
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 21, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and 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

House Bill 417
TITLE: Education - Required Number of School Days or Hours
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: Hearing Cancelled
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 418
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Symbols of Hate - Policy
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 5, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 439
TITLE: Institute for Innovation and Implementation - Pregnant, Expecting, and Parenting Students - Data Collection and Report
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 461
TITLE: Public Schools - Student Attendance - Excused Absences for Mental Health Needs
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 475
TITLE: Speed Monitoring Systems in School Zones - Operation Times - Limitation
POSITION: OPPOSE
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 4, 2021
COMMITTEE: Environment and Transportation

House Bill 496
TITLE: Primary and Secondary Education - Mental Health Services - Expansion (Counselors Not Cops Act)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 508
TITLE: COVID-19 Claim - Civil Immunity
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Judiciary

House Bill 522
TITLE: Public Schools - School Resource Officers - Prohibited Conduct
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 2, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 566
Title: County Boards of Education - Virtual Schools Requirement -
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 5, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 609
TITLE: Public and Nonpublic Schools - Bronchodilator Availability and Use - Policy (Bronchodilator Rescue Inhaler Law)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 5, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 629
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Student Member - Voting
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 5, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 636
TITLE: School Buildings - Drinking Water Outlets – Elevated Level of Lead (Safe School Drinking Water Act)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Environment and Transportation
Appropriations

House Bill 665
TITLE: Education - Public Charter Schools - Virtual Learning Programs
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 700
TITLE: Education - Disruption of School Activities - Repeal of Prohibition
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 713
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Therapy Dogs - Policy for Handling and Use in Schools
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 714 
TITLE: Special Education - Learning Continuity Plan - Requirement
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 715
TITLE: Public Schools - Self Contained Special Education Classrooms - Use of Video Recording Devices
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 724
TITLE: Special Education - Educational and Vocational Services - Prolonged School Closure
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 12, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 764
TITLE: Education - Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today Program - Established and Mandated funding
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 12, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 817
TITLE: State Department of Education - Interscholastic Athletics Eligibility Waiver - Graduate Athletes
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 12, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 909 
TITLE: Maryland Healthy Working Families Act - Applicability
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 2, 2021
COMMITTEE: Economic Matters

House Bill 916
TITLE: Education - Public Middle and High Schools - Financial Literacy Curriculum and Graduation Requirement
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 17, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 939
TITLE: Education - Student Education Grant Program - Established
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 17, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 998
TITLE: County Boards of Education - In-Person Instruction and Related Services - Requirement
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 24, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1062
TITLE: Education - Student Data Privacy - Reports and Student Data Privacy Council Sunset Extension
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 24, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1089
Primary and Secondary Education - Expansion of Mental Health Services and Prohibition of School Resource Officers (Police-Free Schools Act)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 3rd, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1157
TITLE: Education - Maryland High School Diploma - Civics Test Requirement
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 17, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1166
TITLE: Education - Physical Restraint and Seclusion - Requirements, Reporting and Training
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 24, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1170
TITLE: Primary and Secondary Education - Virtual Schools - Alterations
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1214
TITLE: Procurement - Transparency and Application to County Contracts
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Health and Government Operations

House Bill 1254
TITLE: Public School Employees - Whistleblower Protection - Civil Actions
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 17, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1299
TITLE: Education - Public Highschool's - Financial Literacy Curriculum and Graduation Requirement
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 17th, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1296
Elementary School Students - Daily Physical Activity
(Student Health and Fitness Act)
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 3rd, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1322
TITLE: Primary and Secondary Education - School Personnel - Prohibition on Retaliation for Not Returning to In-Person Instruction and Work
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 3, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

House Bill 1372
TITLE: Blueprint for Maryland's Future
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 15, 2021
COMMITTEE: Ways & Means, Appropriations

Senate Bills

Senate Bill 126
TITLE: State Department of Education - Early Literacy and Dyslexia Practices - Guidance and Assistance
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 27, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 165
TITLE: Maryland Healthy Working Families Act - Applicability
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 21, 2021
COMMITTEE: Finance

Senate Bill 209
TITLE: Special Education - Prolonged School Closure - Extension of Education Services
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 27, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 210
TITLE: COVID-19 Claim - Civil Immunity
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 20, 2021
COMMITTEE: Judicial Proceedings

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

Senate Bill 231 
TITLE: Public Schools - Cyber Safety Guide and Training Course - Development, Implementation, and Reporting
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 27, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 245
TITLE: Public Schools - School Resource Officers - Prohibited Conduct
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 27, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

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

Senate Bill 300
TITLE: Special Education - Learning Continuity Plan - Requirement
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 27, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 330
TITLE: State-Funded Construction and Major Renovation Projects - Solar Panels - Requirement
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 21, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 409
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Therapy Dogs - Policy for Handling and Use in Schools
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 11, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 438
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Pregnant and Parenting Students - Policies and Reports
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: January 21, 2021

Senate Bill 448
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Student Transportation - Vehicles
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 11, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 470
TITLE: Institute for Innovation and Implementation - Pregnant, Expecting, and Parenting Students - Data and Collection and Report
POSTION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 25, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 483
TITLE: Solid Waste Management - Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion - Food Residuals
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Health Affairs

Senate Bill 497 
TITLE: Juvenile Services Education Board and Program - Establishment, Powers, and Duties
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 17th, 2021
COMMITTEE: Judicial Proceedings

Senate Bill 551
TITLE: School Constructive Incentive Act of 2021
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 10, 2021
COMMITTEE: Budget and Taxation

Senate Bill 654
TITLE: Education - Comprehensive Health Education Program - Instruction on Skin Cancer
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 25, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 664
TITLE: Education - High School Graduation Requirements -Application
POSITION: Support w/ Amendments
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 25, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 665
TITLE: Public Schools - Self-Contained Special Education Classrooms - Use of Video Recording Devices
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 9, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 668
TITLE: Good Job Opportunities for High School Graduates Act of 2021
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 9, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 773
Constitutional Amendment - General Assembly - Standing Committee Appointments
POSITION: Support w/ Amendments
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 9, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 759
TITLE: State Department of Education - Interscholastic Athletics Eligibility Waiver - Graduate Athletes
POSITION: Oppose
MABE Testimony
DATE: February 25, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environment

Senate Bill 770
TITLE: Education – Technology Resources – Funding (Ending the Digital Divide Act)
POSITION: Support w/ Amendments
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 9, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 921
TITLE: County Boards of Education - Accessibility Standards - Digital Tools (Nonvisual Access Accountability Act for Grades K-12 Education)
POSITION: Support w/ Amendments
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 9, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Senate Bill 965
TITLE: Blueprint for Maryland's Future - Revisions
POSITION: Support
MABE Testimony
DATE: March 15, 2021
COMMITTEE: Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Budget and Taxation

 

 

 

 

 

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 Jen Beltz, Director of Communications & Marketing.

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

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