Priority Issue: School Safety

School Safety and Security Issues in the 2019 Session

Please stay tuned for updates on legislation introduced in the 2019 session impacting safety and security in Maryland’s public schools. See below for much more information on state grants and background on the landmark Safe to Learn Act of 2018.

The Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018

In the final week of the 2018 legislative session, a more than 40-page piece of legislation was drafted, amended, and ultimately enacted as the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 (Senate Bill 1265, Chapter 30). This new law restructures the governance system for overseeing school safety policies and grants, calls for staffing guidelines regarding adequate law enforcement coverage at all schools and calls for an expanded role of local school systems in coordinating students’ mental health services.

Safety and security in public schools are extremely important to MABE and local boards of education for the protection of students and staff. Safety and security are also necessary to provide environments that are conducive to teaching and learning. Therefore, MABE fully supported the primary objective of this legislation to ensure that school systems and schools throughout the State are adopting and implementing high-quality safety and security standards and programs.

Read MABE’s updated Summary of the Safe to Learn Act and PowerPoint presentation and (PDF)

Read MABE President Charles McDaniels’s Statement to the Federal Commission on School Safety outlining MABE’s position on the optimal federal role in enhancing school safety and security.  (August 14, 2018)

State Police and Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention Report on School Safety

On August 15, 2018, the Maryland Department of State Police and Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention provided a Report in response to the request included in the Joint Chairmen’s Report issued by the respective chairs of the House Appropriations and Senate Budget and Taxation committees following each legislative session.

FY 2019 School Facilities Safety Improvement Grants

The Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) recently approved the issuance of $10 million in school safety facilities improvement grants.  Applications may be submitted as of September 12, 2018.

For more information: Grant Approval Action and Allocations and Grant Application Procedures

The IAC has approved “To direct staff to release an application to solicit school safety projects from LEAs and Maryland School for the Blind with a maximum total allocation of $10 million. Each LEA’s distribution will be proportional to the share of the total $10 million, as identified in Table 1 based upon the September 30, 2017 Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) full-time equivalent enrollments as defined by Education Article, §5-202 of the Annotated Code of Maryland for
each LEA, rounded to the nearest $1,000. ”

Of the total FY 19 School Safety Grant Program funding of $20 million, the Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) is distributing $10 million in Round 1.

All approved projects will have a local match requirement, based on the State-local cost share percentage applicable to projects approved in the FY 2019 Capital Improvement Program.

FY 2019 Safe Schools Fund Grants Program 

In late summer, the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) had announced Round 1 of Grant Funding available from the Safe Schools Fund, as authorized under the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018. This action was rescinded and the following information is current.

Safe Schools Grant Fund – The FY 2019 Safe Schools Fund has $10.6 million allocated by the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 in grant funding to enhance safety and security at public schools. The Fund is administered by the School Safety Subcabinet, and each local school system is eligible to receive a base grant amount of $200,000 as well as a subsequent per pupil amount. Below are the necessary available documents.

FY2019 Safe Schools Fund Grant Categories and Guidelines

FY 2019 Safe Schools Fund Grants Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) Application Requirements

Maryland Receives Federal Grant 

In early October, 2018 the Maryland State Department of Education was awarded $3.6 million in federal grants designed to further strengthen classroom safety.

This five-year, $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow Maryland to implement the Maryland School Emergency Preparedness Program, a partnership between MSDE, local school systems, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and local emergency managers. In addition, a three-year, $1 million grant from the US Department of Justice, will allow MSDE to implement a new violence prevention model in schools across the State. Press Release

School Resource Officer (SRO) Curriculum

School Resource Officer 5-Day Curriculum  (August 2018)

This SRO curriculum has been adopted by the Subcabinet and approved by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission.  The 5-day curriculum is organized as follows:

Day 1: Overview & History of SRO Programs in Schools
Day 2: Informal Counselor
Day 3: Law-Related Teacher/Mentor
Day 4: Enforcement & Investigations in Schools
Day 5: Emergency Planning & Preparedness

Assessment Teams – State Model Policy 

Maryland’s Model Policy for Behavior Threat Assessment (September 2018)

This document will provide school systems and local schools with a model policy for the establishment of behavioral threat assessment teams, including procedures for the assessment of, and intervention with, students, staff, parents, contractors, and non-affiliated individuals on school property whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of school staff or students.

Maryland Center for School Safety

Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) website  & Facebook

Presentation on the Maryland Center for School Safety  – Overview reflects the Center’s mission prior to passage of the Safe to Learn Act  (Oct. 2017)

Presentation to the State Board on the establishment of the Maryland Center for School Safety (Feb. 25, 2014)

Maryland School Safety Summit

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 the Center for School Safety hosted the Maryland School Safety Summit.

Attendees of the event included Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon, local board members, security personnel, MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations, John R. Woolums, and many other school safety stakeholders. The summit included presentations by William Modzeleski: The Landscape of School Shootings and Assistant Attorney General Dawn O’Croinin: School Safety Overview.

Emergency Planning Resources

MSDE website on Emergency Planning For School Systems and Schools

Emergency Planning Guidelines for Local School Systems and Schools – Updated October 2017

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