The Maryland State Board of Education today approved as a final product the report: School Discipline and Academic Success: Related Parts of Maryland's Education Reform and granted "Permission to Publish" the proposed amendments to the regulations cited in the report.
More than two years ago, the State Board began an exhaustive examination and review of the issue of school discipline and the use of long term suspension/expulsion as a disciplinary practice. This examination followed the release of a State Board opinion in an appeal involving the expulsion of a ninth grade student for the majority of the school year, during which time the student received intermittent homework assignments but no follow-up, grading, or other interaction with school personnel.
In February 2012, the Board released its draft Report on school discipline and invited the public to submit comments through March 30. Since that time, the Board, with detailed analysis and compilation of the public comments prepared by staff, used a framework to make necessary revisions to the Report and the proposed regulatory actions.
The State has established that for students to be college and career ready, they need to be in school. Therefore, the State's school discipline philosophy focuses on keeping students in school. Further, if suspension or expulsion is necessary – as a last resort – the school must keep suspended or expelled students connected to the school by providing education services that will allow the student to return to school with a chance to become college and career ready.
The General Regulations include Guidelines for Students' Responsibilities and Rights; Disciplinary Action; Arrests on School Premises; Bringing or Possessing a Firearm on School Property; and Reporting Delinquent Acts.
The Board expects to adopt the regulations within 3-4 months, following the State review process and a 30-day public comment period.
The School Discipline and Academic Success: Related Parts of Maryland's Education Reform report is available by clicking here.