The Board’s 2016 Legislative Platform
By Patricia B. O’Neill, Board President
As the first quarter of this school year draws to a close, the Montgomery County Board of Education is already looking ahead to the start of the 2016 legislative session in January. As part of our planning, my Board colleagues and I adopted a legislative platform for the upcoming session earlier this month.
The Board began adopting a legislative platform in 2001, in preparation for the 2002 legislative session. Since that time, the development, adoption, and distribution of a platform statement prior to the beginning of each legislative session has enhanced the effectiveness of Board advocacy on the state budget and legislative issues.
The platform summarizes the Board’s positions on priority issues and serves as a foundation for our advocacy. In the coming months, we will consider our positions on additional legislative and budget issues that arise before and during the session. Similar to previous years, the 2016 Legislative Platform will be distributed to members of the Maryland General Assembly, partner organizations, and the community before and during the legislative session, and it will be posted on the Board of Education website.
This year, we added a new section on mental health, specifically focusing on expanding support for students showing symptoms of mental health illnesses and support for additional funding for substance abuse programs. Furthermore, we included our Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget Interests. These interests inform our operating budget development, enhance transparency, and align with the district’s Strategic Planning Framework that maximizes available resources and strives to meet the unique needs of our students.
I am pleased with the work the Board did in coming up with the legislative platform. This year, responsibility for monitoring the Board’s legislative priorities rests with Ms. Patricia Swanson, the Board’s legislative aide who was appointed earlier this year. We are excited to have Ms. Swanson on board our team. She has the experience and expertise to ensure that the Board, as well as the students and staff of Montgomery County Public Schools, are well represented in Annapolis during the legislative session and throughout the year. She has a deep understanding of the legislative process and has developed a broad array of contacts that will assist the Board with its work at the local, state, and federal level.
The link to our 2016 Legislative Platform is here. If you have any questions, or you would like to request a hard copy, please contact Ms. Swanson at Patricia_R_Swanson@mcpsmd.org or call 301-279-3854.