County Council Discusses Home-Schooling Legislation

It would allow home schooled students to take part in extra-curricular activities at local public schools.


Frederick, Md. (KM) A proposal to allow students who are home-schooled to take part in extracurricular activities at local public schools was discussed Tuesday by the Frederick County Council. Elected officials were considering which bills to submit to the local Legislative Delegation for the 2018 Maryland General Assembly.

The home-school proposal was submitted by Councilman Tony Chmelik, who said the school system is missing out on what the 3500 home-schooled kids have to offer. “I just look at things like the bands that sometimes have trouble fielding enough members, football teams, basketballs teams. How many of these assets are being missed, and how many folks aren’t having the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, if you will, that would benefit the entire community,” he said.  Chmelik said the legislation would only cover Frederick County Public Schools.

Council Vice President MC Keegan-Ayer said she was open to the idea, but she called this “over reach.” “I would have preferred to see you find out how the Board of Education felt about this first before you brought it to us,” she said.

Chmelik said he would contact the Board of Ed to get their input on this issue.

No vote was taken on the home-schooling bill, but the Council approved two other bills to forward to the Legislative Delegation. One would eliminate a requirement that a  capital investment of nearly $250,000 be required for  an applicant for a class B-BF (banquet facility) liquor license be eliminated. That was proposed by Councilman Jerry Donald, who called the state’s current liquor laws  “antiquated.”

A proposal from Council Vice President MC Keegan-Ayer would require the Maryland Department of Health to keep a list of BLS 3 Labs in the state. She said this would help fire and rescue personnel who may need to respond to these facilities to know what materials they may encounter on an emergency call. It was placed in the Legislative Package last year, but was not adopted.

Other proposals being considered exempt affordable housing projects from the Frederick County Forest Resource Ordinance, and eliminate the five-year limitation on property tax credits for retired military who are at least 65 years of age or older, and have lived in the same home for 40 years. That credit is already part of state law, but it has that five-year limitation. Council members were told that no one in Frederick County has signed up for the credit.

The Council is expected to take up these issues at a future meeting.


By Kevin McManus