2012 Maryland Legislative Session – Education Bills

On Wednesday, January 11 at noon, the Maryland General Assembly convened for its 90 day session.  For the first time in a long time, education will not be at the top of legislator’s list of critical issues – at least at the beginning of the session. Some of the hot topics for 2012 will be the gas tax, same sex marriage, flush tax, gambling expansion, off-shore wind,  and of course, legislative redistricting.

SOEtalk will keep readers informed on education-related bills as they are introduced and scheduled for hearing. We encourage all interested readers to follow those issues they care about and let their elected officials hear your opinions.

We have heard from Senator Bill Ferguson, an SOE alumni, and Delegate Sandy Rosenberg, who are sponsoring legislation to provide universal preK in Maryland. Currently, preK education is offered to low-income students. The service would be funded with some of the revenue from slots machines. At this point, no hearing date has been scheduled.  We encourage readers to let us know of bills they would like us to follow.

Senate Bills

SB 140 CRIMES – CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT – FAILURE TO REPORT

Establishing that specified persons who are required to provide specified notice or make reports of suspected child abuse or neglect may not knowingly fail to give the notice or make the reports; establishing a misdemeanor and penalties for knowingly failing to report child abuse or neglect.

The First Reading was on January18, with the Judiciary Proceeding Committee, and the Hearing will be held on February 8.

SB 157 BALTIMORE CITY – AGE FOR COMPULSORY PUBLIC SCHOOL ATTENDANCE – EXEMPTION

Increasing the age for compulsory public school attendance in Baltimore City to be until 18 years old; requiring specified parents or guardians of children of ages 16 or 17 to provide written consent before the children may withdraw from public school attendance; requiring a county superintendent, a school principal, or another specified school official to provide a specified written notification under specified circumstances;

The First Reading was on January 19, with the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

 

SB 175 Crimes – Electronic Communication – Harassment

Changing the prohibition against using electronic mail with the intent to harass to prohibit engaging in electronic communication with the intent to harass; changing the defined term “electronic mail” to “electronic communication” and altering the definition; and establishing penalties for a second or subsequent violation of the Act.

The First Reading was on January 20, with the Judicial Proceeding Committee, and the Hearing will be head on February 2.

 

SB 217 Motor Vehicles – Use of Wireless Communication Device – Prohibited Acts, Enforcement, and Penalties (primary offense)

Repealing provisions of law that require enforcement as a secondary offense of specified violations involving the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle; repealing provisions of law that apply prohibitions involving the use of a wireless communication device to specified operators of motor vehicles only if the motor vehicle is in motion; providing that specified prohibitions apply only if the motor vehicle is in the travel portion of a roadway; altering a specified penalty; etc.

The First Reading was on January 20, with the Judicial Proceedings Committee, and the Hearing will be held on February 14.

 

House Bills

HB 2 Public School Buildings – Carbon Monoxide Detection and Warning Equipment

Requiring the construction or remodeling of public school buildings to conform to a standard for the installation of carbon monoxide detection and warning equipment for commercial structures; and making the Act an emergency measure.

The First Reading was on January 11, with the Environmental Matters Committee, and the Hearing will be held on February 2.

 

HB 8 Crimes – Electronic Communication – Harassment

Changing the prohibition against using electronic mail with the intent to harass to prohibit engaging in electronic communication with the intent to harass; changing the defined term “electronic mail” to “electronic communication” and altering the definition; and establishing penalties for a second or subsequent violation of the Act.

The First Reading was on January 11, with the Judiciary Committee, and the Hearing was held on January 19.

 

HB 9 Education – Children and Youth – Reporting of Information Concerning Student Health, Well-Being, and Growth

Requiring each county superintendent of schools to report specified information relating to student growth, health, and well-being to the State Superintendent of Schools on or before December 1 of each year; requiring the State Department of Education to report specified information to the Governor and the General Assembly relating to student growth, health, and well-being on or before specified dates; etc.

The First Reading was held on January 11, with the Ways and Means Committee.

 

HB 11 Criminal Law – Third Degree Sexual Offense – Person in Position of Authority

Repealing the requirement that the prosecution of a misdemeanor offense of the prohibition against a specified person in a position of authority engaging in a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor, under specified circumstances, be instituted within 3 years after the offense was committed; prohibiting a specified person in a position of authority who is at least 6 years older than the victim from engaging in sexual contact or a sexual act while the minor is enrolled or participating in a specified institution, program, or activity; etc.

The First Reading was on January 11, with the Judiciary Committee, and the Hearing will be held on January 31.

 

HB 14 Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners – Selection of Members – Local Referendum (Democracy in Education Act of 2012)

Increasing the number of members of the Baltimore City School Commissioners; requiring a specified number of board members to be elected at-large by the voters of Baltimore City; altering the length of a term of the members of the board; requiring specified board members to be elected at a specified election and in accordance with specified provisions of law; providing for the termination of the term of the initial elected members of the board; submitting the Act to a referendum of qualified voters of Baltimore City; etc

The First Reading was head on January 11, with the Ways and Means Committee.

 

HB 123 Vehicle Laws – Wireless Communication Devices – Enforcement of Prohibitions on Use While Driving (Primary offense)

Repealing provisions of law that require enforcement as a secondary offense of specified prohibitions against the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.

The First Reading was held on January 23, with the Environmental Matters Committee.

 

HB 163 Motor Vehicles – Prohibition on Use of Text Messaging Device While Driving – Exceptions

Establishing that the prohibition on using a text messaging device while driving does not apply to the use of voice recognition technology that allows the hands-free sending of a text message or an electronic message or the use of a text messaging device to listen to a text message or an electronic message; etc.

The First Reading was held on January 24, with the Environmental Matters Committee.

 

HB 191 State Board of Education – Financial Literacy Curriculum – Graduation Requirement (Requires a course on financial literacy)

Requiring the State Board of Education to develop curriculum content for a course in financial literacy; requiring each county board of education to implement the financial literacy curriculum content developed by the State Board in every high school in the county; and requiring students to complete a course in financial literacy in order to graduate from high school.

The First Reading was held on January 25, with the Ways and Means Committee.

 

HB 196 Student Health and Fitness Act ( Requiring schools of offer phys ed.)

Requiring that a public school student in elementary school be provided a daily program of physical activity totaling at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, including at least 90 minutes of physical education; requiring that the program of physical activity for a specified category of student be consistent with a specified plan for the student; requiring public elementary schools to designate a specified group to plan and coordinate specified activities.

The First Reading was held on January 25, with the Ways and Means Committee.

 

HB 201 Meal Menus – Nutrition Information

Requiring each public school, beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, to list the number of calories contained in a menu item next to the menu item on a meal menu published by the school.

The First Reading was held on January 25, with the Ways and Means Committee.

 

HB 208 Baltimore City Public School System – Governance
(Changes appointment of board)

Altering the appointment process of specified members of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners; altering the composition and purpose of the board; making the board responsible for functions assigned to it by the Chief Executive Officer of the board; repealing specified powers and functions of the board; requiring the Mayor to employ the Chief Executive Officer and establish a salary; requiring the board to establish a specified personnel system proposed by the Chief Executive Officer; etc.

The First Reading was held on January 25, with the Ways and Means Committee.

HB 210 School Buses – Length of Operation

Extending to 15 years the period of time that a school vehicle may be operated in St. Mary’s County, subject to specified requirements.

The First Reading was held on January 25, with the Environmental Matters Committee.

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