On March 1st, Michael Sanderson submitted written testimony in opposition to HB 1144 County Boards of Election – Equal Access to Public Services for Individuals With Limited Proficiency.
From the MACo Testimony:
This bill creates a broad and unclear mandate on Boards of Education to provide a potentially wide range of materials in multiple languages.
Maryland schools already deliver a wide range of services for English language learners, including materials to assist with classroom accessibility and continued development of related skills. In addition, teachers and school leaders ensure communication with parents and guardians to seek collaborative guidance for children’s education.
While surely well-intentioned, the open-ended nature of the requirements of HB 1144 could challenge school systems to divert current resources toward potentially duplicative and costly new materials. If every textbook, manual, document, and written item is required to be provided in multiple languages that may vary based on changing demography, this could result in a meaningful and counterproductive reallocation of education resources.
For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.