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Important education reform bills in Maryland General Assembly next two weeks

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Bills related to Common Core and the barrage of other education reforms assaulting our school systems in Maryland are posting daily on the Maryland General Assembly website.

Education-related bills being heard this week are listed below by hearing date and whether they are bills concerned citizens would want to support or are bills that further the agenda of federally-driven education reform. Bill numbers that start with HB are house bills, and bill numbers starting with SB are senate bills. Updates on the list of bills are posted every Monday and can be viewed here.

IF YOU ACT ON NO OTHER BILLS LISTED HERE, PLEASE ACT ON HB607 and HB1154.

Here is what citizens can do:

  • Please attend the hearings and plan to testify. Typical testimony is three minutes long. Usually, the deadline to sign up to testify is one hour before the hearing begins. Contact the bill sponsor for more info. Often, they can sign up testifiers and accept written testimony on your behalf if you are supporting their bill. Even if you are testifying in person, be sure to also submit written testimony so it goes into the record.
  • If you can’t attend the hearings, submit written testimony by email to each of the members of the committee hearing the public comment plus the committee itself. Be sure to contact both the house and senate committees if the bill was crossfiled. The senate committee will be different than the house committee. Put the bill number at the top of the page and include your name and address at the bottom. If it is a bill you are supporting, email testimony to the bill sponsor by 9am the morning of the hearing at the latest. They can photocopy and submit the testimony to the committee for you.
  • Be sure to read the bill language and the Fiscal & Policy Note on the bill from the MDGA website. The F&P Note is often not posted until the day before the hearing. If you need help finding the info, call Legislative Services here.

Hearings on Wednesday Feb. 19

EHEA Committee (James Senate Building) at 1pm

Bills sponsored by Senator Ed Reilly:
SB408 (support) - establish timeline for CCSS implementation
SB578 (support) - delays implementation of PARCC until June 2015
SB579 (support) - delays implementation of new teacher evaluations until June 2015
Email written testimony by 9am on 2/19 to edward.reilly@senate.state.md.us.
If you are testifying in person, call Senator Reilly to have them sign you up at 410-841-3568.

Bills sponsored by Senator Pinsky:
SB666 (oppose) - expands Teaching Fellows Scholarship to include private non-profits; expands eligibility to Dream Act students
Submit written testimony to the EHEA Committee and to each member of the committee.

Bills sponsored by Senator Madaleno:
SB910 (oppose) - authorizes MSDE to adopt regulations to comply with ESEA waiver requests
SB911 (oppose) - defines new teacher evaluations based on student test scores to be the default evaluations
Submit written testimony to the EHEA Committee and to each member of the committee.

Ways & Means Committee (House Office Building) at 1pm

Bills sponsored by Delegate Lafferty:
HB384 (support) - hybrid school board in Baltimore County
Email written testimony by 9am on 2/19 to stephen.lafferty@house.state.md.us.
If you are testifying in person, call Delegate Lafferty to have them sign you up at 410-841-3487.

Bills sponsored by Delegate Hixson:
HB265 (oppose) - established task force on middle schoolers readiness for college; expands data analysis on middle schoolers; requires middle schoolers to complete individual academic and career plans
Submit written testimony to the W&M Committee and to each member of the committee.

Hearings on Friday Feb. 21

Ways & Means Committee (House Office Building) at 1pm

Bills sponsored by Delegate Kaiser:
HB607 (oppose) - authorizes use of cloud computing for storing student level data and monitoring of student online activity including emails and other electronic activity
Email written testimony by 9am on 2/21 to michael.smigiel@house.state.md.us
If you are testifying in person against this bill, call Delegate Smigiel to have them sign you up at 410-841-3555.

Hearings on Wednesday Feb. 26

Ways & Means Committee (House Office Building) at 1pm

Bills sponsored by Delegate Ron George:
HB925 (support) - establish timeline for CCSS implementation
HB893 (support) - establishes autonomy for education policy at the local county level
Email written testimony by 9am on 2/26 to ron.george@house.state.md.us.
If you are testifying in person, call Delegate George to have them sign you up at 410-841-3439.

Bills sponsored by Delegate McDonough:
HB766 (support) - requires BCPS to disclose a list of expenditures made to implement CCSS
HB776 (support) - establishes commission to study impact of CCSS in Baltimore County
HB777 (support) - hybrid school board in Baltimore County
HB764 (support) - halts implementation of CCSS, PARCC, and NGSS; halts commitments to RTTT
Email written testimony by 9am on 2/26 to pat.mcdonough@house.state.md.us.
If you are testifying in person, call Delegate George to have them sign you up at 410-841-3334.

Bills sponsored by Delegate Luedtke:
HB1164 (oppose) - establishes workgroup on CCSS and PARCC composed on MSDE officials and others with vested interest in the goals of MSDE
Submit written testimony to the W&M Committee and to each member of the committee.

Hearings on Friday Feb. 28

Ways & Means Committee (House Office Building) at 1pm

Bills sponsored by Delegate Ron George:
HB1154 (support) - requires parental consent of student data collection
Email written testimony by 9am on 2/28 to ron.george@house.state.md.us.
If you are testifying in person, call Delegate George to have them sign you up at 410-841-3439.

Bills sponsored by Delegate Michael Smigiel:
HB944 (support) - permits private tutors to meet compliance with homeschool programs
Email written testimony by 9am on 2/28 to michael.smigiel@house.state.md.us
If you are testifying in person, call Delegate Smigiel to have them sign you up at 410-841-3555.

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