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  • PSSAM Staff

HB 558 Primary and Secondary Education - Comprehensive Health Education Framework - Established (Crossover)

BILL: HB 558

TITLE: Primary and Secondary Education - Comprehensive

Health Education Framework - Established

DATE: March 27, 2024

POSITION: Oppose

COMMITTEE: Senate Education, Energy and the Environment Committee

CONTACT: Mary Pat Fannon, Executive Director, PSSAM

 

The Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM), on behalf of all twenty-four Maryland local school superintendents, opposes House Bill 558.


This bill requires the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), in consultation with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), to develop a comprehensive health education

framework that includes, at a minimum, specified topics. Each local board of education must

create an age-appropriate curriculum that is consistent with the comprehensive health education framework as specified.


PSSAM strongly supports the current local approach to implementation of health curriculum

consistent with State guidelines. PSSAM also shares concerns raised by local school boards and other advocacy organizations regarding legislative efforts to codify standardized curriculum, assessments, or standards. PSSAM maintains our longstanding position regarding curricular mandates, which highlights the critical nature of preserving local authority and oversight. Each Maryland local school systems must be afforded flexibility in developing curriculum that best reflects the specific, and diverse needs of their student population and local community. Again, local superintendents support robust and comprehensive instruction in health education, and believe that this objective is best accomplished by preserving local flexibility in implementing health curriculum.


For these reasons, PSSAM opposes House Bill 558 and kindly requests an unfavorable

committee report.

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