** This webpage is provided for informational purposes. It is not legal advice. **

In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed 2 new laws relating to nonpublic schools. These laws do not directly affect individual homeschool families, but they may impact homeschool umbrellas and co-ops that operate as state-approved OR church-exempt nonpublic schools.

The Maryland State Department of Education, in conjunction with the State Attorney General’s Office, has issued guidance documents on who must abide by the requirements of these new laws.

HB 486: Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Prevention

All public schools, nonpublic schools, and agencies that contract with public or nonpublic schools in Maryland are legally required to participate in background checks of prospective and former employees. Background checks are required for any employee who has direct contact with minors, including – but not limited to – teachers, substitutes, administrators, staff, and coaches.

This law applies to all nonpublic schools, including those that hold a certificate of approval from MSDE, church-exempt nonpublic schools, and certain programs that hold a certificate of approval from MSDE’s Office of Child Care. Maryland homeschool umbrellas AND co-ops that operate under one of these categories should consult with MSDE or their private attorney to ensure compliance with the law.

For more information, see:

HB 1186: Nonpublic Schools – Fire Drill Requirements – State Fire Prevention Code

All nonpublic school in Maryland are legally required to hold fire drills in accordance with the State Fire Prevention Code. School administrators must keep records of the fire drills and send copies to MSDE.

This law applies to all nonpublic schools, including those that hold a certificate of approval from MSDE, church-exempt nonpublic schools, and certain programs that hold a certificate of approval from MSDE’s Office of Child Care. Maryland homeschool umbrellas AND co-ops that operate under one of these categories should consult with MSDE or their private attorney to ensure compliance with the law.

For more information, see:

Last modified on October 7, 2019