A. The Governor’s Office for Children shall:
1. Establish an electronic tip system to allow anonymous reporting of concerns about Maryland public elementary and secondary education (“public school”) systems; and
2. Develop and maintain a database that tracks such concerns and their resolutions.
B. Office of Education Accountability.
1. The Office of Education Accountability is hereby established within the Office for Children to enhance and promote integrity and accountability in Maryland’s public school systems.
2. The Director of the Office of Education Accountability shall:
i. Provide outreach to students, parents, and teachers;
ii. Serve as a clearinghouse for concerns regarding public school safety, grading, graduation requirements, assessments, educational facilities, procurement, and budgets;
iii. Refer concerns to a public school official, agency, department, or resource as appropriate;
iv. Refer possible violations of criminal law to the State Prosecutor or State’s Attorneys with jurisdiction to prosecute them;
v. Receive and track allegations of violations of applicable whistleblower protections for individuals who raise concerns about public school systems;
vi. Identify systemic concerns related to fraud, abuse, waste, and unethical conduct within Maryland’s public school systems;
vii. Provide to the Maryland State Board of Education and local boards of education recommendations, solutions, and strategies for improving Maryland’s public school systems and communication between schools and parents;
viii. Facilitate responses by State units subject to the supervision and direction of the Governor (the “Executive Branch”) to concerns about public school systems; and
ix. Serve as a liaison between the Executive Branch and the Maryland State Board of Education and local boards of education.
3. The Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
4. The Director shall be provided with adequate staff selected by the Governor.
i. The Director shall report annually to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, the Superintendent of Schools, and the Maryland State Board of Education with:
1. recommendations related to alleged cases of fraud, waste, abuse, or unethical conduct within Maryland’s public school systems;
2. goals and priorities indicated by a periodic assessment of existing and emerging issues affecting Maryland’s public school systems; and
3. recommendations for legislation to enhance the integrity and accountability of Maryland’s public school systems.
ii. The report shall be submitted no later than December 31 of each year.
iii. The Director may issue additional reports.