SB 423 — Task Force to Study the Impact of Student Cell Phone Use in the Classroom

Committee: Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

Position: SUPPORT

The Maryland Catholic Conference offers this testimony in SUPPORT of Senate Bill 423. The Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, including the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington, which together encompass over one million Marylanders. We offer this testimony on behalf of the families of approximately 50,000 students served by more than 150 PreK-12 Catholic schools in Maryland.

Senate Bill 423 would establish a task force to study the impact of student cell phone use in the classroom. The bill would allow for parents and educators to provide input on student cell phone use and gather information about the positive and negative aspects of that technology in the classroom.

The Conference applauds the inclusion of a seat for a nonpublic school representative, as well as a nonpublic school parent, at the task force table. However, we respectfully urge and request the committee to include a seat for a representative from Maryland’s primary nonpublic school coalition, the Maryland chapter of the Council for American Private Education (Maryland CAPE).

Maryland CAPE is the primary collective voice for nonpublic schools in the state, and in that role is best suited to provide input on behalf of the 120,000-plus nonpublic school students in Maryland. The Maryland Catholic Conference is a founding member of Maryland CAPE and looks to the organization as the voice of all nonpublic schools. It is for this reason that we respectfully urge this committee to amend Senate Bill 423 as follows:

Proposed Amendment to SB 423

Amendment One:

Page 2, line 9: after “Schools.”, insert “(vii) the Maryland chapter of the
Council for American Private Education (Maryland CAPE)”