Issues 2016: Due Process Protection, School for the Deaf

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Due Process Protections School for the Deaf Teachers
Senate Bill 21 / House Bill 597 - SUPPORT

The Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) is a diverse, bilingual community that works in partnership with families to provide an equitable and exemplary education in a nurturing environment. The school strives to ensure that its students achieve personal excellence and become responsible lifelong learners.

Founded in 1867, MSD is an independent state agency governed by its 19-member Board of Trustees. These trustees are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Maryland Senate. Ninety percent of the school’s operating budget is provided through state general funds, while the remaining 10 percent is provided through federal grants, special funds (such as employee food sales, out of state tuition and county participation fees, and reimbursable funds from the Maryland state Department of Education.

MSD utilizes the Maryland State Curriculum and the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards and offers its graduating high school seniors the Maryland State High School diploma. The school’s instructional programs operate on a 180-day school year from late August through mid-June. Approximately 30 percent of the Frederick, Maryland campus students reside a the school during the week and return to their homes on weekends and during school breaks.

The Frederick campus provides a comprehensive elementary/secondary school program with separate departments for Elementary (pre-K through Grade 5), Middle (Grades 6-12), and High School (Grades 9-12).The Frederick campus also offers a Career and Technology program that provides students with career skills, including computer and technical courses. A Special Needs Program also is offered at the Frederick campus for students with additional learning and behavioral disabilities.

Unlike teachers in Maryland School Districts, teachers at the Maryland School for the Deaf are State employees.They are, however, considered “career-long, at-will, contractual employees.” As such, their contracts can be “non-renewed” at any time for little or no reason. As state employees, teachers at the School for the Deaf should be afforded the same basic rights as other Professional Service employees in the State Personnel Management System. These rights include removal for cause only after serving a probational period and the right to appeal discipline pursuant to Title 11 of the State Personal Management System.

AFT-Maryland believes that these teachers should receive the same rights and protections as other employees in the state personnel management system and has secured the assistance of Senator Ron Young, who has sponsored legislation, Senate Bill 21, and Delegates Karen Young and Carol Krimm, who sponsored House Bill 597, to secure due process rights for Maryland School for the Deaf teachers. 

 

AFT-Maryland Legislative Issues 2016
For more information, contact Terence Cooper, Director of Legislative Affairs, AFT-Maryland, tcooper@aftmd.org, or Todd Reynolds, Political Coordinator, treynolds@aftmd.org.