On April 6, Democrats from the Maryland General Assembly stood with parent, educator, and civil rights groups to override Gov. Hogan’s veto of the Protect Our Schools Act —legislation that will make the state a leader in closing opportunity gaps, reducing standardized testing, and preventing school privatization.
“Today was a huge day for public education in Maryland—and all supporters of our neighborhoods schools thank the General Assembly for overriding Gov. Hogan’s misguided veto,” said Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). “The Protect Our Schools Act will position our schools to improve learning opportunities and student outcomes for years to come, while protecting them from failed, top-down privatization ideas that put corporate interests before our students.”
With the passage of ESSA, the federal government has given each state the ability to author a plan for measuring accountability and student achievement and growth. The Protect Our Schools Act of 2017 (POSA) is the school accountability reform bill intended to implement accountability measures and intervention strategies that have been proven to get results.
Under ESSA, each state is allowed to include new measurements in their plan that go beyond standardized test scores. For example, smaller class sizes and access to quality pre-kindergarten programs can be included in a state’s accountability system as an “opportunity indicator.”
In Maryland, the House vote was 90-50 and the Senate vote was 32-15. The legislation—which is supported by educators, parents, civil rights groups, and leading education scholars—protects Maryland schools from privatization and creates a strong, transparent school accountability system.
However, Gov. Hogan vetoed the bill because it will stop his efforts with President Donald Trump and Education Secretary DeVos to force communities to give up control of their schools and hand over operations to private and for-profit operators.