Up the Street
A Statement from MSEA President Clara Floyd on Thursday
Evening’s Senate Budget Action:
As legislators make tough decisions on how to move Maryland
forward, MSEA has been, and continues to be, at the table to protect our public
schools. The Senate has crafted a bold package that fully funds Thornton,
raises revenues to ensure the quality of life that Marylanders enjoy, protects
local school funding by fixing maintenance of effort, and involves some pension
cost sharing in a more responsible way than we’ve seen to date. The Senate
proposal greatly minimizes the impact of a cost shift on counties, encourages
the investment in our students, and provides a responsible, sustainable path
forward that MSEA supports.
The week that was in Annapolis
Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Bill
on the Move
One week after being introduced, the
MOE legislation is on the move. The Senate Budget and Taxation committee
included comprehensive MOE reform in an amended version of Senate
Bill 848 and includes it in a package of four bills that will serve as the
chamber’s budget proposal. In addition to the comprehensive MOE fix, the Senate
package includes Governor O’Malley’s budget proposal to fully fund state
aid for education (Thornton), an aggressive revenue bill that increases
some rates and creates additional state income tax brackets, and a phase-in
to share teacher pension costs with local school boards.
The revised SB 848 includes most of
the same provisions as House Bill 1412,
which we have been advocating for since its introduction last week. The
protection in the reduction in recurring cost waivers by requiring employee
association agreement if personnel or personnel costs are being reduced.
maintaining the provision to allow for exceeding property tax caps, SB 848 does
not allow for raising income tax rates above the 3.2% local rate cap.
history of compensation as a factor for the State Board to consider when MOE
requirement waiver requested.
pending MOE penalties for FY12, benefitting Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, and Anne
FY13, allows counties that missed MOE in FY12 that have a local income tax rate
of 3.2% to rebase at 2012 level, benefitting Montgomery and Queen Anne’s
the certification timeline of when the State Superintendent certifies if a
county meets its maintenance of effort in a given year to help settle funding
disputes before the start of the school year.
a transparency provision to generate an annual MOE review report from the State
Board of Education to review all waiver requests and findings in a given year.
MSEA President Clara Floyd issued
the above statement in support of the principles advanced in the Senate
package, understanding that when MSEA is at the table, we can help solve major
budget challenges while also defending our priority interest of protecting
The committee reports on all four
bills will move to the Senate floor next week, and the full Senate is expected
to debate the budget package on Wednesday and Thursday. In advance of the
debate, it is important to organize phone calls, emails, and visits with
senators to push for passage of SB 848 as a part of the budget package. Click
here and share this link with colleagues and allies and help us keep up the
pressure to pass SB 848.
News and Notes
Five-Day Rule Update
The House Ways and Means committee
heard House Bill
596, legislation to address the five-day rule that governs the timeline
considerations of delivering materials to parents in advance of IEP
meetings. MSEA testified
in support of the legislation and to amendments offered by the bill
sponsor, Delegate Anne Kaiser. The Kaiser amendments intend to provide
flexibility in how parents will receive the documents in advance of the
meeting, ensure that the word “accessible” is defined, and define what the
“extenuating circumstances” provision of the current law is meant to allow.
MSEA will continue to work with
Delegate Kaiser to bring common sense to the law and ensure balance is achieved
between parents’ needs and educators’ workloads. Stay tuned and help us push
for these important changes by emailing your
legislators and asking them to fix the five-day rule.
Charter School Bills to Be Heard
Charter school advocates are
planning to rally in Annapolis next week as a part of a push to overhaul
Maryland’s charter school law. MSEA will oppose House Bill 1218
that proposes sweeping changes to a law that works well and ensures
accountability for public schools – charter and traditional. If this
legislation passes, charters granted by the State Board will be different than
those granted by local boards. State charter schools will have virtually
no limits or accountability imposed on them by law as they will be exempt from
state and local education laws including bargaining unit membership and
collective bargaining rights. Under this legislation the charter school
operators would determine salary, wages, hours, and working conditions.
ATTN: Members and Leaders in the
6th Congressional District; Help Garagiola Win the Democratic
With primary day just a few weeks
away, engaging in the April 3 elections is critical. MSEA is working with
a labor coalition in support of State Senator Rob Garagiola’s congressional
campaign. As a coordinated member communication program, there are all
sorts of ways to help:
- Download sample letters and flyers
to share with members and their families.
fellow members as part of persuasion or get out the vote phonebanks.
Email Denise Riley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for an updated list and sample script.
in labor walks on Saturday, March 24, Saturday, March 31, and Tuesday, April
3. Contact Sean Johnson (email@example.com)
for more information.
In addition to the labor program,
members can volunteer for the Garagiola campaign in any number of ways and in
various field offices in the 6th congressional district. See
below for more details:
Office: 20501 Seneca Meadows Parkway, Germantown, MD
Monday-Friday @ 5:30pm; Canvasses on Sat. @ 10am and 2pm; Sunday @ 12n.
Office: 222 East Oak Ridge Drive, Suite 400, Hagerstown, MD
on Tuesday and Thursday @ 5:30pm; Canvasses on Saturday @ 10am.
Canvass: 100 N. East Street, Frederick MD (staging location)
are organized at the Frederick Coffee Company and Café every Saturday @ 10am.
Early voting begins Saturday,
March 24. Find
the early vote location nearest you.