Counties Wary of New In-School Staffing Mandates

On March 4, 2022, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition to HB 1004 – Public Schools – Health Services – School Nurses. This bill would require each county board of education to provide a full-time registered nurse at each public school.

From the MACo testimony

Counties are proud to support public schools and agree with the general merit of the bill that
Maryland’s public school students deserve access to appropriate health professionals in our public
schools. However, HB 1004 fails to consider the range of regionally specific student needs that each jurisdiction factors into its hiring and staffing of school health professionals.

Currently, local governments employ school nurses through a variety of arrangements that best suit the unique needs of each school district – some do so through the local boards of education, while others do so through the county departments of health. Counties base this decision on several considerations, including available resources, hiring and management preferences, and collective bargaining. HB 1004 mandates that all school nurses be employed through county boards of education.

MACo plans to testify on the bill’s crossfile, SB 856, on March 8, 2022.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.
Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.