Highlights of the 2015 MD General Assembly Legislative Session

by Katherine McElhenny

Wondering what went on in the MD Assembly that pertains to PG Education? The 2015 Legislation page won’t help; it still hasn’t been updated! Check below for a video clip of highlights as well as a handy table of significant legislation.

The following is a MD State Legislative Update as provided to the PGCPS Board of Education on 4/16/15 by Ms. Demetria Tobias, Esq., Associate General Counsel.

Click here for the full 2015 MD Legislative Summary as prepared by the PGCPS Associate Counsel.

Click here for the 2015 PGCPS BoE Legislative Platform.

Bill Description
HB0486/ SB595
Charter Schools Improvement Bill
leaves many of the current regulations in place but allows for:
–          the expanded authority of charter schools after five years of approved performance to enjoy increased authority including waiving certain requirements about scheduling, curriculum, class size, staffing ratios and professional development.
–          local school boards to be free to institute a weighted lottery for students receiving free and reduced lunch, siblings of currently enrolled students, students with disabilities, students that attended the charter school previously, English language learners,  homeless students and up to 35% students in “the geographic area with a median income that is equal to or less than the median income for the county for the charter school.”
–         the removal the state of Maryland as a secondary authorizer on school charters.
HB 1137/SB 699
Primary Education – State Standardized Assessments – Moratorium
Requiring the State Board of Education to place a moratorium on State standardized assessments in prekindergarten through grade 2 during specified school years; providing that a public school may not be required to administer a specified assessment during a specified time; making a specified exception for the administration of a pilot State standardized assessment in conjunction with a specified report; etc.
Outdoor Synthetic Turf Fields
Requiring the Prince George’s County Board of Education to install an outdoor synthetic turf field at each public high school in the county beginning in fiscal year 2016 through the end of fiscal year 2020; requiring specified fields to be constructed for joint use; requiring specified expenditures to be deemed eligible public school construction costs or capital improvement costs by the Interagency Committee on School Construction for specified purposes; etc.
Issuance of Credit Cards – Prohibition
Prohibiting the Prince George’s County Board of Education from issuing a credit card to a member of the county board; and providing for a delayed effective date.

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