Maryland Seal of Biliteracy

Seal of Biliteracy Status: 
State has a Seal of Biliteracy

Adoption Date

04/26/2016

Whom to Contact

Bonnie Pechulis
Maryland State Department of Education
(410) 767-0331

SENATE BILL 781

  • (A) In this section, the following words have the meanings indicated.
    1. “Eligible Student” means a student who attends a public high school that participates in the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy program.
    2. “Foreign language” means a language other than English.
      • “Foreign language” includes American Sign Language and any Native American Language.
    3. “Program” means the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy program.
  • (B) There is a Maryland Seal of Biliteracy program that recognizes public high school graduates in the state who have attained proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.
  • (C) The purpose of the program is to promote linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy in one or more languages in addition to English and to provide recognition of the attainment of those skills by affixing a Seal of Biliteracy to the student’s diploma or transcript at graduation at no cost to the student.
  • (D) Participation in the program by a local school system is voluntary.
    • If a local school system chooses to participate in the program, an individual school MAY NOT opt out of participation in the program.
  • (E) Beginning with the graduating class of 2017, each eligible student who meets the criteria and requirements established by the state board in accordance with subsection (F)(1) of this section shall receive a Seal of Biliteracy.
    • A Seal of Biliteracy shall be affixed to the student’s diploma or transcript at graduation.
  • (F) On or before October 1, 2016,the state board shall:
    1. Establish criteria and requirements a student must meet to receive a Seal of Biliteracy; and
    2. (2) Provide information to each local school system regarding how to participate in and how to implement the program.
  • (G) A local school system participating in the program shall:
    1. (1) Maintain records necessary for determining a student’s eligibility for a Seal of Biliteracy; and
    2. (2) Affix a Seal of Biliteracy to the diploma or transcript of every eligible student meeting the criteria and requirements established by the state board in accordance with subsection (F)(1) of this section.
  • (H) The state board shall adopt regulations to carry out this section.

Section 2. and be it further enacted, that this Act shall take effect July 1, 2016.

Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Updates

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04/26/2016

Maryland Gov Larry Hogan signs Seal of Biliteracy law to recognize bilingual proficiency in state's students. Learn more: http://pnae.us/236CZsN

04/11/2016

Maryland Seal of Biliteracy bill has passed both the house and the senate!  The bill is awaiting Governor Larry Hogans' signature.

02/24/2016

Maryland legislators have introduced a Seal of Biliteracy bill again this year.  a committee hearing will be held February 24, 2016 for Senate Bill 0781; and March 10, 2016 for House Bill 0708.  Link to the Senate bill:
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&tab=subject3&id=sb0781&stab=01&ys=2016RS

09/14/2015 Maryland General Assembly introduced a State Seal of Biliteracy this year, SB 310 and HB 166. It passed the Senate unanimously on March 5, 2015, but did not pass the hearing stage in the House. The status of the bill can be found here: General Assembly of Maryland - SB0310

State laws regarding the Seal of Biliteracy