Education Bills of Interest in the 2013 Session

The follow bills represent significant education legislation that passed in the 2013 Legislative Session.

College and Career Readiness and College Completion Act of 2013: SB740 creates several educational reforms aimed to better prepare Maryland’s high school students for college, to require students to develop degree plans towards completion of undergraduate degrees while in college, and to simplify the process for transferring credits between  Maryland universities and community colleges.  Rather than charging those dually-enrolled students tuition, this legislation requires the local boards of education to pay 75% of the college tuition of high school students enrolled in up to four courses at a community college or public university. (For community college enrollments, the county board must pay the lesser of 5% of the target per pupil foundation amount or 75% of the cost of the community college courses).  The local school boards may then charge the dually-enrolled students 90% of the tuition paid, unless the students qualify for free and reduced price meals, in which case the fee will be waived. MACo took no position on the bill, which does not have a direct impact on county budgets.  Status: SB740 passed the General Assembly in the final hours of the 2013 Legislative Session.

Public School Employees – Collective Bargaining – Representation Fees: HB667 requires public school employers to charge employees who are not members of a union a representation fee for representation in negotiation and grievance matters by the union.  The legislation provides that employees whose religious beliefs are opposed to joining or financially supporting any collective bargaining organization is required to pay an amount of money that is equal to the service or representation fee to a nonreligious, nonunion charity.  Status: HB667 passed the General Assembly.  For more information, see this coverage from Fox news.

Prince George’s County – School System – Academic Revitalization and Management Effectiveness Initiative PG 411-13: HB1107 grants the County Executive of Prince George’s County and the Prince George’s County Council the authority to appointment certain members of the county school board, including the chair and vice chair of the board.  It also establishes that the Prince George’s County Executive shall select and the county board shall appoint the Chief Executive Officer of the Prince George’s County public school system, who will serve as the county superintendent.  The legislation also authorizes the Chief Executive Officer to consolidate schools under certain circumstances.  MACo took no position on the bill as it affects only one jurisdiction. Status: The General Assembly passed HB1107 on the final day of the legislative session.

Baltimore City Public Schools Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013: HB860 authorizes the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) is authorized to issue up to $1.1 billion in debt for the purpose of constructing and improving public school facilities in Baltimore City and raises the statutory debt limit for the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners from $100 million to $200 million. In accordance with the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners 10-year Plan approved on January 8, 2013, MSA is responsible for managing all public school construction and improvement projects in Baltimore City that are financed under the bill. MACo took no position on the bill as it affects only one jurisdiction. Status: HB860 passed the General Assembly.