State Board of Ed Talks COVID Mitigation, Student Poverty, and the Blueprint

The State Board of Education met on September 28 at the Baltimore offices of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The monthly meeting had a full agenda, ranging from student COVID-19 mitigation and virtual learning to student poverty and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

The State Board heard from a variety of leaders in education, with the first-half of the all-day meeting featuring staff presentations on pressing policy issues.

Staff presentations included:

Notably, Meadows’ presentation focused on teacher and school staff shortages and staff vaccination rates, both an ongoing concern for many county school boards and the State.

State Board President Clarance C. Crawford emphasized the role of the State and county boards to “move the needle” on student learning and outcomes, even during the challenges of COVID-19.

Additionally, Superintendent Choudhury noted that an update on virtual programming and COVID mitigation will be a standing agenda item and presentation for the monthly State Board meetings this year.

The State Board also considered Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Estimates and Requests, 2021-2022 Priorities and Strategic Planning, and potential updates to state regulations (COMAR) seeking to revise regulatory language to better align with the criminal background check requirements of the Federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The Board voted to advance the updates to the regulations.

Access the meeting agenda, materials, and video.

  • Staff presentations start around 30 minutes:
    • Specifics on county school staff vaccination and testing policies and rates, HVAC systems, and other mitigation efforts start around 90 minutes.
    • Presentations on economically disadvantaged students and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future start around the third hour.
  • Board discussion on 2021-2022 Priorities and Strategic Planning starts around 2 hours, 20 minutes.
  • Board discussion on the childcare COMAR regulations starts around 5 hours, 10 minutes.