2021 Legislative Recap
With school and shul safety a constant concern and priority, we are pleased that three separate state funded security programs once again received their due allocations. The nonpublic school safety improvement grant received $3.5 million, and the two additional security programs for entities considered to be at risk of a hate crime – one which benefits schools and another which also helps shuls and other non-profits – were level funded at $2 million and $3 million respectively. These programs, in addition to the increased funding of the federal NPSG (Non-Profit Security Grant), have provided our institutions and facilities with all of the tools needed to do “their part” towards protecting our people.
Perhaps the most important issue for an organization tasked to represent a community such as ours and its institutions, is to ensure that our spiritual identity is preserved and that we can remain true to our religious mission. Agudah Maryland invested extensive time, effort, and resources this session to address potentially harmful legislation that would have effectively erased the unique character of private, religious schools. The bill attempted to impose uniform admission policies in all Maryland schools – both public and private – without allowing for appropriate safeguards. While efforts to bolster these protections made progress and areas of compromise were found, the legislation ultimately did not come up for a vote on the Senate floor.