Cyberattacks on School Districts Dramatically Increase in 2019

According to cybersecurity company Armor, ransomware attacks on more than 500 schools have occurred in 2019. Another report, by antivirus maker Emsisoft, identified 62 ransomware attacks impacting more then 1,000 schools and higher education institutions. K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center only reported 11 ransomware-specific attacks in all of 2018. District Administration reports schools systems closing anywhere from a few days to over a month due to hackers. School officials have differed on their responses with some…

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Broadband Adoption Rates Increasing Through U.S.

Around 19 million households do not have broadband throughout the United States, but the digital divide is decreasing yearly. Over a five-year span, all states saw an increase in broadband adoption rates, with the gab between highest and lowest adoption states significantly closing. Data for broadband adoption rates is not accesbale prior to 2015, but the gab between average adoption rates for high-income households (above $75,000) and low-income (below $20,000) is narrowing as well. Something…

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Hogan “Furious” about Bay Bridge Repair Project Backups

Governor Hogan has demanded the Maryland Department of Transportation to take every single effort to complete the Bay Bridge work project as soon as possible. The project has led to serious traffic backups causing trouble for both commuters and locals. From Maryland Matter's coverage: Under the governor’s order: — contractors will work 24 hours a day on the project; — engineers will search for time-saving changes, such as faster-drying concrete; — Bay Bridge toll booths…

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Debt Affordability Committee Discusses GASB 87 and State Tax-Supported Debt

The Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) held the second of three annual meetings in the process of recommending a level of capital debt for the State. During the second CDAC meeting, Christian Lund, Director of Debt Management for the State Treasurer's Office, took the members through the CDAC Workgroup Report on Implementation of GASB 87. The workgroup looked at the new guidance under GASB 87, which determines which leases should be considered capital leases versus…

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CTE Programs Offering Students Opportunities in the Solar Industry

Grid Alternative, a nonprofit bringing free solar to low-income communities, is helping to educate and train the next generation of students to move forward in the growing solar industry. Through the Solar Futures program, high school students are exposed to the renewable energy field and provide opportunities to participate in installations. There are also lessons on renewables and career pathways for elementary and middle school students. From Education Dive's article: Working alongside the installation team,…

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International Cycling Race Coming to Maryland Labor Day Weekend 2020

Starting Labor Day Weekend of 2020, Baltimore will host a major international cycling race for three years. While few detailed have been finalized, the 110- to 125-mile race would start and end in Baltimore City, but travel through surrounding counties. Terry Hasseltine, executive director of Maryland Sports and vice president of communications for the Maryland Stadium Authority, believes the event will bring a $20 million benefit to the area. From Baltimore Sun's coverage: The organizers…

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NCTQ Report: Movement Away from Student Test Results in Evaluations

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) shows that since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), some states have moved away from including student test results in principal, teacher evaluations. From Education Dive's article: Following No Child Left Behind’s strict requirements for education accountability systems, ESSA returned much of the control to the states. In addition to legal challenges over linking test scores to teacher evaluation results, education…

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Maryland EXCELS Joins Defense Department Pilot Program

Last week, the U.S. Department of Defense launched a pilot program, MCCYN-PLUS, aimed at expanding the availability of child care options for eligible military families through its fee assistance program, Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN). The pilot program will include child care programs that are participating in Maryland EXCELS (Excellence Counts in Early Learning and School Age Care) and meet the eligibility requirements for MCCYN. With over 4,600 participants, Maryland EXCELS is the…

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First Substantive Look at Future Bay Bridge Plans

After narrowing down the possibly locations for a new bay crossing from fourteen options to three, Anne Arundel County residents got their first substantive look at the preliminary plans. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) hosted an open house at the Anne Arundel Community College on Wednesday night. MTA showed attendees maps and graphics of the proposals and received feedback on the ideas. From WTOP's article: “That doesn’t mean that the others are totally off the…

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Two New Delegates for Baltimore County

Baltimore County Democrats Carl Jackson and Catherine Forbes will join the Maryland House of Delegates soon, replacing Del. Eric Bromwell (District 8) and Del. Stephen Lafferty (District 42A) respectively. Both Bromwell and Lafferty resigned in August, taking high-level positions in the Baltimore County government. From Maryland Matters: When Baltimore County Democrats Carl Jackson and Catherine Forbes join the House of Delegates in the next several days, assuming Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) follows tradition…

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