If the proposed state disciplinary regulations are adopted as currently proposed, will there need to be additional funding to provide services to suspended students?
On January 28, 2014 the Maryland State Department of Education is scheduled to take action on the proposed state disciplinary regulations. At that point, the need for future funding needs will be more apparent.
The proposed guidelines suggest the timeline for planning and implementation as follows:
- Local Education Agencies (LEAs) will review and revise policies, regulations, communications and roll-out plans during the 2014-2015 school year
- LEAs will focus on implementation of the new regulations during the 2015-2016 school year
The proposed state disciplinary regulations appear to be an unfunded mandate. Because Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has been in support of this effort, a number of steps have been taken:
- There is a dedicated Suspension Workgroup that has been meeting regularly to remain abreast of proposed changes and to discuss implications for our work.
- During the next formal meeting of the workgroup, three subgroups will be formed to specifically discuss the following needs:
- A comprehensive communication plan
- Required professional development
- A comprehensive implementation plan
- The United States Department of Education (USDE) recently published Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline. This document will be used as a resource to guide the group’s future work.
- MCPS has provided funding for Alternative I teachers for all secondary schools for a number of years, and continues to review programming for students who are suspended both in and out of school.