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Maryland House Passes the Protect Our Schools Act

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Senate Will Begin Work on Major School Accountability Bill Next Week

Legislation to improve the way Maryland schools are held accountable for student outcomes and other measures of quality passed the House today, 91-46. The bill, if passed this session, would set parameters for the Maryland State Department of Education and state school board in how they implement a new national K-12 education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The Protect Our Schools Act (HB978/SB871) has two main sections: one that balances test scores with “opportunity” indicators—like class size, access to a well-rounded curriculum, and attendance rates—in measuring school success, and the other prevents the state from privatizing low-performing schools.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity for Maryland to redefine and improve public school success, with less emphasis on testing and a greater focus on closing opportunity gaps,” said Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association. “We applaud the House for showing leadership in this critical moment and look forward to working with the Senate as they move forward to do the same.”

As amended by the House, the legislation:

The Senate Education Subcommittee is planning to begin their work on the House-approved legislation next week.