Collective Bargaining of Community College Employees Becomes Law

And other legislative updates in Up the Street this week

Special Session Brings Collective Bargaining Power to Community Colleges, New Treasurer, Congressional Districts Realigned

The special session of the General Assembly that took place from December 6 to 9 gave Maryland a new state treasurer, a new map of congressional districts and collective bargaining rights for community college employees in Maryland.

Lawmakers quickly overturned Governor Hogan’s veto on 2021 session community college collective bargaining legislation (SB 746 / HB 894). It gives college employees the right to organize and fight for fair working conditions from September 2022 at most of the state’s largest community colleges, through September 2023 at smaller community colleges and September 2024 for Baltimore Community College. With the exception of exclusive bargaining units established before September 2022, large community colleges are not required to enter salary negotiations until July 1, 2023, and smaller community colleges not until July 1, 2024.

Lawmakers have overwhelmingly backed making Delegate Dereck E. Davis the next state treasurer, who is to be sworn in today. As Treasurer, he will influence statewide funding decisions made by the Board of Public Works (BPW), which approves investment projects, including schools, and on the Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE), whose forecasts affect state financial planning that impacts schools and students. At BPW, the treasurer is one of three members, alongside the state comptroller and the governor. On the BRE, the treasurer serves with the comptroller and the secretary of state for the budget.

A new congressional district map received both General Assembly approval and a quick veto waiver after Hogan refused to accept what the legislative committee drew. The map updates districts in the state and makes the First Congressional District more competitive for Democrats by including part of Anne Arundel County. Some of Hogan’s allies have threatened to take legal action, which legal experts say would be difficult to win. The cases challenging the 2011 congressional maps in Maryland and North Carolina failed in 2019 when the United States Supreme Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering was a political issue, not something federal courts should arbitrate. .

State school board revises mask regulation to support safe in-person education

At the State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting on December 7, State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury conveyed to council members that Maryland has had almost continuous school operations since the fall, compared to others. States where masks have not been encouraged and where weeks of school closures have been required following coronavirus cases. In search of ‘exits’ from the mask mandate, the SBOE has defined parameters, related to vaccination rates and transmission rates in the community, from which local school districts could choose to determine when they will lift the mask mandates. local masking. The proposed emergency settlement requires the approval of the Joint Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee (AELR). If none of the members of the AELR requests a public hearing on the urgent adoption of the regulation, the members of the committee will be able to be questioned on the regulation as of December 22. The new emergency regulations would replace the emergency mask regulations which expire February 25 and last for 180 days.

MSEA pushes for sustainable workloads, class sizes

The MSEA is advocating for changes to reduce the unsustainable workloads and overcrowded classrooms that worsened during the pandemic and made this school year incredibly difficult for educators and prompted many to consider leaving school. profession. As part of the association’s 2022 legislative priorities, the MSEA will strive to give educators more power over their working conditions and student learning conditions by allowing them to negotiate class size. In addition to helping reduce teacher burnout and turnover, such a change would also help encourage greater individual attention for students and even stronger relationships between educators and students.

Sports betting begins to increase income from K-12 education

Several of the licensed sports betting sites have finally started their operations, joining the casinos to generate millions in new income for K-12 education. The state will receive 15% of the gross revenue, and that money will go to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. Legislative analysts predict that betting on professional and college sporting events will net the state between $ 15 million and $ 25 million a year.


Expenditure Affordability Committee and Revenue Projections Board share good news

The state has strong revenue prospects for the current fiscal year and the next, according to the Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE), which met on December 14. In September, the BRE examined better-than-expected tax revenue and now estimated an additional half a billion dollars for each of fiscal years 22 and 23.

NEA has transformative racial justice leader in Pringle

The New York Times has recognized National Education Association president Becky Pringle as a prominent black labor leader positioned to bring about the kind of racial and social justice that are MSEA priorities. Pringle’s profile was written by former Baltimore Sun reporter Erica Green.

Federal Court rules in favor of anti-LGBTQ Christian school

A disappointing court ruling in favor of Bethel Christian Academy to quietly discriminate against members of the LGBTQ + community and receive public funds will not stop MSEA from standing up for the rights of all students to be protected and valued equally. MSEA and coalition partners will continue to fight attempts to use public funds for schools that do not share these core values.

More legislative and leadership changes in Annapolis

The changes in the leadership of the General Assembly continue as this week Senator Delores Kelley of Baltimore County, a member of the General Assembly for more than 30 years and chair of the Senate Finance Committee, announced that ‘she would not seek re-election in 2022. Also this week, the Hogan government appointed Linda Foley to represent Montgomery County as a delegate in the 15e District, taking the seat from former delegate Kathleen Dumais, who was appointed circuit court judge.

School Construction Funding Task Force Offers Final Recommendations

The state task force on the assessment and financing of school facilities, which was established by the 2021 legislation, last met on December 15 and made a final set of recommendations. to the General Assembly to consider the next session. The task force is proposing legislation for a revolving credit fund to allow more districts to pass on low or no interest financing projects. Other recommendations and changes involve new cost-sharing formulas for capital improvement projects and school construction Built to Learn and guidelines on how the Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) should determine the maximum amount of public funding for school construction projects. The working group wanted the IAC to adjust its calculation methods, which use the school population and the reference area.


Trail Updates

In news of the Democratic gubernatorial campaign, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) backed Tom Perez, and former Gov. Paris Glendening backed Wes Moore. Moore chose former delegate Aruna Miller to be his running mate.

This week, United States House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D), who applied for his 22sd term next year, approved Heather Mizeur in the newly reconfigured First Congressional District.

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