Home : Legal : 2018 Issues

updates

The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice or counsel.


  • 2018: HB 996 - Homeschool Students in Maryland - Extracurricular Activities

    This bill would allow homeschool students to participate in interscholastic athletics, music, drama, student organizations, and other school-sponsored programs that are held after regular school hours, as long as the activity does not offer academic credit.

    Get the latest update on HB 996 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 1:00pm.

    Important to Know: Delegate Angela Angel from Prince George's County is the sole sponsor of this bill. A small language issue exists in the original bill in that it describes a "written agreement" between the homeschool student and their county superintendent. Maryland regulations do not require any type of written agreement to exist in order for a family to legally homeschool. Parents are only required to submite a Notice of Intent to homeschool form. We have reached out to Delegate Angel's office to request she edit her bill appropriately.

    What You Can Do: Write to the House Ways and Means Committee members to express your opinion of this bill.

 


  • 2018: HB 544 / SB 369 - Public and Nonpublic Schools - Classwork and Assessment Involving Live and Dead Animals - Student Choice Policy

    This bill would allow public and nonpublic school students to opt out of participating in or observing classwork or assessments that includes dissections. Students would be allowed to complete alternative assignments without losing points.

    Get the latest update on HB 544 from the General Assembly.
    Get the latest update on SB 369 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill will be heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on Feb. 7, 2018 and by the House Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 15, 2018.

    Important to Know: This bill indirectly effects homeschoolers by disallowing county homeschool liaisons from requiring high school homeschool families from having to provide "regular and thorough instruction" in biology labs that include dissections.

    What You Can Do: Write to the House Ways and Means Committee members and to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee members to express your opinion of this bill.

 


  • 2018: SB 261 - Community Colleges - Vocational Certificates, Apprenticeship Training Programs, and Associate Degrees - Tuition Assistance

    This bill would create a tuition special assistance program for community colleges. Eligibility would require a high school diploma, GED, or completion of a home instruction program; a minimum high school GPA; and a 2-year minimum state residency requirement. Students who received the tuition assistance would be required to complete 15-hours of community service each semester.

    Get the latest update on SB 261 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill will be heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on Feb. 7, 2018.

    Important to Know: This bill currently states that homeschoolers have to be in compliance with "state and county requirements". Maryland regulations explicitly prohibit counties from placing extra requirements on homeschool families.

    What You Can Do: Write to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee members to ask that they keep homeschool eligibility expressly listed in the bill but to change the language regarding "county requirements" and homeschoolers.

 


  • 2018: SB 317 - Higher Education Degree and Job Certification Without Debt Act of 2018

    This bill would create the Maryland Community College Promise Program, a first-come, first-served grant program to help certain students finish their community college or 4-year college program.

    Get the latest update on SB 317 from the General Assembly.
    Get the latest update on HB 016, a very similar, but less comprehensive bill that also fails to include homeschoolers from elibility.

    Status: This bill will be heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on Feb. 7, 2018.

    Important to Know: Section 16-703(B)(IV) of the bill outlines initial eligibility criteria as a student who has "graduated from a Maryland public secondary school or received a GED not more than 12 months before first receiving a grand under this program ..." The current language unintentionally disqualifies all homeschool graduates from eligibility, unless they take and pass the GED.

    What You Can Do: Write to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee members to ask that they adjust the language regarding eligibility listed in Section 16-703(B)(IV) to include students who have completed a home instruction program.

 


  • 2018: HB 940 - High School Credit for College Courses Act of 2018

    This bill would require local county school boards to award elective credit to public school students who complete college-level courses.

    Get the latest update on HB 940 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill is not yet scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee.

    Important to Know: This bill would only effect homeschoolers who choose to return to public high school and are attempting to transfer in credits completed as part of their homeschooling.

    What You Can Do: Write to the House Ways and Means Committee members to express your opinion of this bill.

 


  • 2018: SB 664 - Education - Foreign Language Requirement - Computer Programming Language Courses

    This bill would public school students the option of completing courses in computer programming language in order to meet their foreign language graduation requirement.

    Get the latest update on SB 664 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill will be heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on Feb. 28, 2018.

    Important to Know: This bill indirectly effects homeschoolers by creating a new option for meeting the foreign language graduation requirement that applies to homeschoolers as part of the "regular, thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age". Families should keep in mind, however, that choosing to a substitute computer programming language for traditional foreign language classes may not fulfill college entrance requirements.

    What You Can Do: Write to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee members to express your opinion of this bill.

 



  • 2018: HB 966 - Education - Voluntary Ethical Special Education Advocate Certificate Program

    This bill would create a voluntary certification process for special education advocates to be approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. Advocates would be required to complete training, take a test, and pay a fee every two years.

    Get the latest update on HB 966 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill has not been scheduled for a hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee, yet.

    Important to Know: In its current form, this bill would create a voluntary certification program for anyone wishing to work as a special education advocate. Del. Ebersole, the lead sponsor of the bill, was asked to sponsor this bill by a Baltimore-area law firm who believes parent-consumers need to be protected against unscrupulous advocates who "run up bills" unnecessarily. This bill, however, creates a conflict of interest between MSDE and the advocates who may be filing a complaint with or against them.

    What You Can Do: Write to the House Ways and Means Committee members to express your opinion of this bill.

 


  • 2018: SB 302 / HB 355 - Accountability in Education Act of 2018

    This bill would create an independent Education Monitoring Unit with an Investigator General and Review Commission that would investigate K-12 education complaints. It would also establish an anonymous electronic tip program. This bill has been cross-filed and marked as an Emergency bill, meaning it would go into effect immediately, if it passes both houses and is signed by the governor.

    Get the latest update on SB 302 from the General Assembly.
    Get the latest update on HB 355 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill will be heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on Feb. 7, 2018. This bill has not been scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee yet.

    Important to Know: This bill creates a new level of accountability for public schools.

    What You Can Do: Write to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee members and the House Ways and Means Committee members to express your opinion of this bill.

 


  • 2018: HB 393 - Elementary School Students - Daily Physical Activity (Student Health and Fitness Act)

    This bill would require schools to provide students with a daily program of physical activity totaling 150 minutes each week, including physical education and developmentally appropriate, moderate-to-vigorous activity, including recess.

    Get the latest update on HB 393 from the General Assembly.

    Status: This bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 8, 2018.

    Important to Know: This bill would has no effect on homeschoolers, but is shared for informational purposes.

    What You Can Do: Write to the House Ways and Means Committee members to express your opinion of this bill.

 



                     


                               

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