Howard County SECAC Agenda
October 27, 2020 General Meeting 7:00pm-9:00pm
Zoom Virtual Meeting
ORDER OF BUSINESS
Call to Order - 7:01pm
Welcome and Introductions
Purpose and Vision
The Howard County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) advises the school system on the needs of students with disabilities. We collaborate with other community disability advocacy groups to improve special education and the lives of our students in Howard County, MD.
Special Presentation - Delegate Ebersole and Senator Lam
Ebersole taught for 35 years in HCPSS. He sits on the Ways and Means committee, Education sub-committee Education, Early Childhood and Special Education sub-committees. He is seeing some concerns with family members with virtual learning. Concerned about kids not being identified due to the virtual environment.
He provided updates on the following House Bills (HB):
HB184 - Reimburse for attorney and witness fee for when the family wins against of school system. Co-sponsored with justice committee, but didn’t move out of that committee.
HB396 - Early screening, child care centers to screen as well for reading, referring to Infants & Toddlers, didn’t make it through the Senate committee.
HB699 - Created ombudsman to help with special education at the attorney general’s office. Passed.
HB718 - Dept of Ed has to create a Dyslexia and Early Reading Hdbk, didn’t get to the Senate yet.
Health Dept is concerned about COVID surge in Jan/Feb that could derail schools re-opening.
MD Legislative session will probably be a hybrid of in person and virtual. Will have to split up House because of how many people are in it. Testifying will probably be virtual.
MSDE recently update to legislators:
25% of students were not engaged in online learning in the spring.
Only 3 systems said they were able to do evaluations and new IEPs.
21 year old cap, question about extending for those students. IDEA doesn’t cover. Local school systems would have to decide, could use available CARES Act funds.
Virtual Education Workgroup formed in the House. Major topic is special education and extended school year, catching students up.
Update on the adult changing table bill. Session ended before it could be passed. Will take up again in the next session.
Education, Health, Environmental Affairs Committee
Kirwan took a lot of time. Will be trying to override the veto.
Got a briefing by superintendents that there hasn’t been much guidance about safe re-opening. Looking for consistency across counties about when to reopen, what to do if someone gets sick, etc..
Thousands of students disenrolled, next year’s budget is tied to numbers for this year.
Suggest for our group to find a priority and advocate for those at the state level.
Unsure of when the Howard County Delegation hearing will be. Stay tuned.
Del Ebersole thanks the group for advocating and teaching him about special education law.
Reminder from Mai - IDEA is to unsure have a free, appropriate public education. Including related services to allow every child to be ready for:
Department of Special Education Introductions and Updates
Board of Education Introductions and Updates - Vicky Cutroneo
PTACHC President Brent Loveless spoke.
PTACHC would like a SECAC rep.
PTACHC created a social distancing policy for themselves and PTAs.
Presented to school system. They weren’t cooperative at first. But clarified for official business, budget, etc.. 3 outdoor meetings this year. Did not do it as substitute for genera membership meetings. Brent will give us that info.
Next Meeting Dates
Adjournment - 9:05pm