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Education Briefs: May 2018

The 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly has come to a close. Here are several pieces of legislation that passed this year pertaining to schools and education.

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School Safety
Both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly approved the Maryland Safe to Learn Act, which includes provisions from Governor Hogan’s Safe Schools Act of 2018. The legislation enhances school safety for public school children and staff. Maryland school systems will now be required to develop Behavioral Health Assessment Teams, which w

ill identify students whose behavior may pose a threat to individuals attending or working in a public school.

If any student exhibits behavior that may pose a threat, assessment teams can refer students to appropriate local law enforcement officials, the local school system, and the county superintendent. There will also be standards and procedures established for referral of an individual for evaluation, services or treatment. The legislation also includes aggressive school safety standards for the training and certification for all school resource officers.

It would seem like a no-brainer that kids could bring sunscreen to public schools. But, until now some school systems required you have your child’s pediatrician complete the Request to Administer Medication at School form before sending them off to school with sunscreen. Early in April, Governor Hogan signed House Bill 427, which allows all Maryland students to use and bring sunscreen to school. The Governor took personal interest in this measure following his recent surgery to remove skin cancer cells.

A Computer Science Win
Beginning in the 2021–2022 school year, Maryland will require each public high school to offer at least one computer science course, thanks to the passage of the Access Act of 2018. The course “shall be of high quality” and meet or exceed the curriculum standards and requirements established by the State Board of Education. Public elementary and middle schools will also be expected to incorporate instruction in computer science. In addition, provisions will be made to increase the enrollment of underrepresented demographic groups in computer science.

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