Educators – What’s New For The Upcoming School Year?

SB 540 – Notice to Families With Children With Disabilities
Effective July 1, 2010, parents in Maryland are entitled to Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting documents five business days prior to an IEP meeting. 

Executive Order 01.01.2010.12
In conjunction with the State’s Race-to-the-Top (RTTT) application, the Governor on June 1, 2010 issued an Executive Order creating the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness.  The Council, which includes teachers, principals, education experts, and elected officials, is to develop a model evaluation system for educators as prescribed by the Education Reform Act of 2010.  “Accessible” documents include draft IEPs, assessments, any other documents the team plans to discuss and school psychological reports.  Exceptions from the 5-day rule are made for “extenuating circumstances.”  Five days  after scheduled IEP meeting, the school must provide the parents of the child with a disability “a copy of the completed individualized eductation program.”  If the IEP is not fully prepared by the fifth day, parents are entitled to receive a draft IEP.  IEPs must be provided to parents “in an accessible format.” 

Emotional Disability Legislation
The Maryland legislature has passed legislation that changes references to “emotional disturbance” to “emotional disability” within the definition of a child with a disability. 

Education Reform Act of 2010
In order to comply with the requirements of the federal Race to the Top grant program, in which Maryland is a finalist, the State enacted legislation this year that would extend, from 2 to 3 years, the period required to attain tenured status for teachers and administrators, and allows tenured status to be transferred between county school systems if certain conditions are met. The new law also requires school systems to provide professional development and mentoring for new teachers.   

Fairness in Negotiations Act
A newly created Teacher Relations Board replaces the Maryland State Board of Education in deciding issues relating to scope of bargaining, unfair labor practices, and the selection of bargaining representatives for public school employees.  This Board will also have the last word on collective bargaining negotiations, resolving impasses by rendering binding decisions on disputed issues.