The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of education policy in the 2018 General Assembly.
Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.
Counties Support Kirwan Commission’s Preliminary Recommendations
MACo supported a bill to implement the preliminary recommendations of the [Kirwan] Commission On Innovation and Excellence in Education. As a precursor to the Kirwan Commission’s final report, HB 1415/SB 1092 would establish a comprehensive teacher recruitment and outreach program, the Maryland Early Literacy Initiative, the Learning in Extended Academic Programs (LEAP) grant program, and the Career and Technology Education (CTE) Innovation grant program. Additionally, the bill would ensure funding for current prekindergarten grant programs and the Teaching Fellows for Maryland scholarship program. The bill was passed General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
Counties Support Legislation to Expand the Maryland Technology Internship Program
MACo supported a bill that would enable counties to participate in the Maryland Technology Internship program. Currently, the Program connects college and university students, recent graduates, and veterans with small innovative businesses in the high-growth technology sector through internships. The Program incentivizes businesses to participate by offering a stipend of up to 50% for each paid intern. HB 527/ would expand the current Program by authorizing the State and local governments to participate in the same way as technology-based businesses. The bill passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
Counties Look To Bolster Support for Community Colleges
MACo supported a bill that would have increased funding for community colleges from the State under the Cade formula beginning in FY 2020. This legislation requires the State to increase its contribution to Maryland’s community colleges. However, neither House Bill 516 or Senate Bill 596 made it out of committee in either house.
Senate Bill 303 would have increased state funding for community colleges beginning in 2020. MACo supported this measure to offset unfunded state mandates for tuition and residency waivers, signaling a new commitment to community colleges on behalf of the State. The bill did not advance out of the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee.
Counties Oppose One-Size-Fits-All Collective Bargaining Mandate
MACo opposed House Bill 667 and Senate Bill 408. The two bills would have established a uniform statewide collective bargaining process for community college employees. This legislation would not have provided local flexibility in the decision to allow collective bargaining at county community colleges, and imposed a one-size-fits-all approach to local collective bargaining. The Senate version of the bill received an unfavorable report from the Senate Finance committee and did not advance. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
Counties Oppose Legislation to Require Local Health Departments to Substantially Expand Student Vision Screenings
MACo opposed a bill that would require local boards of education and local health departments to substantially expand student vision screenings. The new screenings would be designed to detect a wide swath of possible symptoms indicating potential vision disorders. Counties were concerned the legislation would have placed a substantial administrative and cost burden onto local health departments. Without state resources to offset these potentially large costs, the bill represented an unfunded mandate on local governments. Language requiring local boards of education and local health departments substantially expand student vision screenings was removed from the bill. The bill passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage