School Boards Seek to Protect Cost-Saving School Construction Practices

The Maryland Association of Boards of Education has issued the following Call to Action to its members:

Call TODAY – Urge Legislators to VOTE NO on SB 515 Procurements for Construction or Repair of School Project

Use these links to the Budget & Taxation Committee; and the B&T Committee Roster.

Senate Bill 515 should be rejected for these reasons:

  • This bill should be rejected in order to protect the use of cooperative purchasing.
  • This bill would significantly disrupt school system procurement practices – and overturn settled case law.
  • This bill would interfere with school system efforts to achieve the cost savings and efficiencies the General Assembly has consistently encouraged school systems to employ.
  • Taxpayers benefit from the cost savings school systems are achieving under the current law.
  • Protect the use of cooperative purchasing and VOTE NO on Senate Bill 515.

Background from the Boards of Education:

The Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) opposes Senate Bill 515 because this legislation would introduce confusing and unnecessary definitions and further amend the section of the Education Article governing procurements by local boards of education. Local boards and school facilities and procurement staff are deeply concerned about the consequences of introducing the new definitions proposed for “commodities”, “construction”, “goods”, and “improvement”. The goal of these bills is to prevent the practice of purchasing roofing repair materials and services through cooperative purchasing; which runs counter to the legislature’s intent that local boards optimize cost savings and efficiencies which are enhanced through cooperative purchasing.

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, Esq., at or 410-841-5414.