HB 448 Teacher Pay Parity Act (Crossover)
BILL: HB 448
TITLE: Teacher Pay Parity Act
DATE: March 28, 2023
COMMITTEE: Budget and Taxation
CONTACT: Mary Pat Fannon, Executive Director, PSSAM
The Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM), on behalf of all twenty-four public school superintendents, opposes House Bill 448.
House Bill 448 requires a nonpublic educational program for students with disabilities to provide its teachers a salary that is equivalent to public school teachers of similar training and experience in the same county where the school is located. If the costs to do so are not met by the existing State and local cost sharing mechanism in current law for nonpublic placements, such additional funding is to be paid for by the State and the local school system in the same proportion as provided by that mechanism. Funding for other components of a nonpublic educational program may not be reduced to provide for required nonpublic teacher salary increases.
Maryland’s twenty-four local school systems are working hard to implement the Blueprint for
Maryland’s Future legislation, which includes a significant increase in teacher compensation to bring the teaching profession on par with professions that require similar education standards. These provisions include a 10% increase in salaries by FY ’24 over FY ’19 to close the gap of average teacher salaries in peer states. The Blueprint also calls for a $60,000 starting salary for all teachers by FY ’27. These are ambitious goals, and each system is working with fidelity to meet these requirements. However, these provisions are already putting pressure on local systems to provide equal increases to personnel that are not specifically identified in the Blueprint, yet are integral staff in our systems, including psychologists, social workers, reading specialists, and more.
This bill would require local school systems to pay for costs they have no control over, and for teachers that are not part of the bargaining process. Additionally, the bill requires counties that “host” these schools to be responsible for the salary parity – not the counties that send students to these schools. We recognize that the vast majority of students at these nonpublic schools are special education students that could not be accommodated in their zoned school. However, the legislation would hold LEAs responsible for ensuring salary parity between public and private school teacher salaries without any local control over these schools.
PSSAM appreciates and supports our nonpublic education providers in ensuring educational opportunities for students with special needs. However, this legislation requires public school systems to pay for staff they have no control over, no fiscal authority of, or quality control in the delivery of education in these schools.
For the reasons stated above, PSSAM opposes House Bill 448 and requests an unfavorable committee report.