New Research: Pandemic Learning Experiences and Best Practices

A new federal report provides insight into the lived experiences of teachers and students during the COVID-19 pandemic and offers policy considerations in how to best support students' learning and development during emergencies. A newly published study from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) reporting to several congressional committees offers perspective on teaching and learning during the pandemic and provides insight for future policy decisions about virtual learning. The GAO report, released on May 17, is…

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State to Distribute $198 Million in Small Business Relief

Maryland was the first state to submit a State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). deployment plan to the United States Treasury Department, and was one of the first five states to be approved. Maryland will allocate up to $198 million in federal small business relief through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). That federal initiative was established by Congress in 2010 to provide loans and investments to underserved small businesses. The SSBCI received a $10…

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What’s in the FY 23 Capital Budget?

The fiscal year 2023 capital budget is now law, authorizing nearly $4 billion in capital projects. Here's what it means for counties. Earlier this week, Governor Larry Hogan signed the FY 23 capital budget into law. It will fund a diverse variety of projects around the state, including those dealing with construction, the environment, affordable housing, and even neighborhood revitalization. More than a quarter of the $4 billion capital budget will be used for convenbtional infrastructure projects…

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Extension of Education ARPA Deadline: What Counties Need to Know

The U.S. Department of Education will consider requests from local school districts for an 18-month extension on spending COVID-19 emergency funds. In a May 13 letter, the U.S. Department of Education agreed to consider applications to extend the deadline for LEAs to spend pandemic relief money provided by the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. The ARP ESSER program's goal is to help LEAs “prevent, prepare for, and respond to”…

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Morgan State Chosen for IBM Cybersecurity Center

Maryland's Morgan State University was chosen as one of six historically black colleges and universities to launch an IBM cybersecurity center aimed at training underrepresented professionals in the field.  Morgan State University, one of Maryland's premiere historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), was chosen by tech powerhouse IBM to establish a cybersecurity center with the university, aimed at training underrepresented communities in the field of cybersecurity. Morgan was chosen alongside five other HBCUs around the country for…

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Tonight: MSDE Conversation on Supporting Rural School Communities

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is teaming up with several county superintendents of schools to host virtual community conversation on supporting the state's rural school communities. Today (May 16, 2022), MSDE and several local school jurisdictions will discuss the current needs of Maryland's rural school communities. During the virtual community conversation, State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury is expected to chat with students, families, educators, and school leaders from across rural communities throughout the state. https://twitter.com/MdPublicSchools/status/1526198889820196867 Participating…

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Howard Works to Contextualize Namesakes of Public Spaces

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball is moving forward with evaluating whether or not names of public facilities and spaces in the county should be changed after collecting community feedback.   On May 12, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball signed an Executive Order creating a Public Facilities and Spaces Report Evaluation and Action Commission and named its members. The Commission will utilize the Public Spaces Commission Report released in 2021 to review and contextualize the history surrounding the…

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May 11 Board of Public Works Meeting: Here’s What Counties Need to Know

The Board of Public Works (BPW) — a three-member panel including Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Dereck Davis — reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies, many of which affect county governments. The BPW considered and approved the following requests and recommendations at its meeting on May 11, 2022: Allegany County A request from the Maryland Department of the Environment for new funding up to $5,445,701 ($510,535 loan +…

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Remake Learning Days Festival Returns to Maryland

The Remake Learning Days Festival is returning to Maryland and neighboring states this week. Remake Learning Days Across America (RLDAA) is a national festival of "innovative, hands-on learning experiences for kids, families, and educators." Events are free and include in-person "hands on" activities and virtual options. According to a press release: Here in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region and across the country, the festival provides opportunities for youth to develop their sense…

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Monifa McKnight Becomes First Woman to Lead Montgomery County Schools

Monifa McKnight, the first woman to serve as superintendent for Montgomery County, will now lead Maryland's largest school district. On May 10, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted to confirm Dr. Monifa McKnight as the county's next superintendent. McKnight will formally take over the superintendency on July 1 and will serve a four-year term. The school board unanimously chose McKnight as their top pick for superintendent in February, and the May 10 vote on her hiring contract…

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