Press Release from Maryland Family Network on LOCATE Service

The following is a Press Release from the Maryland Family Network on their LOCATE service. Contact: Douglas Lent 410.736.0430 or @mdfamilynetwork Baltimore — To support of first responders, medical, and other essential personal responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Family Network’s (MFN) LOCATE: Child Care remains operational. LOCATE: Child Care is a free, telephone and online referral service with detailed information on all regulated child care in the state. In partnership with the Maryland State…

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COVID Impacts on Standardized Testing?

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently issued guidance on how schools should be handling the COVID-19 crisis and spoke on the real possibility that the Department of Education would grant waivers from federally mandated testing requirements. From Washington Post: “In cases where a school has been closed for a period of time, the assessment results still provide useful information about where individual students and groups of students will need support in the following school year,” the…

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County Supported Library Bill Heads to the Governor
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County Supported Library Bill Heads to the Governor

HB 1000 - Building Lifelong Library Learners Act has moved through the House and Senate and is now heading to the Governor for signature. This bill would boost funding for county library capital projects, accelerate increases to the library funding formulas, and encourage minors to continue to utilize their public libraries by eliminating certain fees. From MACo's testimony: Maryland’s counties share funding responsibility with the State for our libraries and support additional resources for them.…

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Congress Introduces Funding Bills for Education During Crisis

Congress has introduced bills in both chambers that would provide $3 billion in mandatory grant programs and flexibility for early childhood education and K-12 schools in the United States. The funds are meant to help maintain operations and re-open sooner by providing financial support. From Education Dive: The legislation includes: $1.2 billion for states to support school districts as they plan for closures. The funding could be used to support school meal distribution, ramped up…

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Amended School Construction Bill Moving Through Senate

The amended Built to Learn Act would still drive an additional $2.2 billion in school construction funding, by leveraging casino "lockbox" revenues for bonds but makes substantial changes. HB 1 - Built to Learn Act of 2020 would create a large new funding program for school construction. The 2020 bill pulls recommendations from the 2019 Workgroup on the Assessment and Funding of School Facilities. The Built to Learn Act has moved out of the House…

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Bill Improving Broadband Mapping Data Passes Congress

The Broadband Deployment and Technological Availability (DATA) Act passed the United States Senate this week after the House of Representatives made changes earlier this month. This bipartisan legislation will improve the accuracy of federal broadband maps so that electric cooperatives are able to secure funding to bring high-speed internet service to rural communities more easily. The Federal Communications Commission will collect more detailed data from broadband providers and also make it illegal for providers to…

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Burdensome Sidewalk Bill Receives Unfavorable Report

SB 65 - Counties - Construction of Sidewalks and Crosswalks - Safe Alternative Routes to Public Schools was given an unfavorable report in the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. Although MACo supported the goal of this bill, as written it would would have create a significant unfunded mandate for county governments to construct any sidewalks and crosswalks necessary for students living in certain areas to travel to school. If the route to school was not…

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Five Schools Receive AACPS Wellness Distinction Award

The Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) Wellness Council announced that Benfield, Cape St. Claire, and Pine Orchard elementary schools, as well as Central Middle School and South River High School are the winners of the 2019 AACPS Wellness School of Distinction award. From Eye on Annapolis: In order to win the prestigious honor, schools must show that its culture encompasses wellness as reflected in the ten components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole…

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COVID-19 Exposes Digital Divide for Students

With an estimated 7 million school-age children living without home Internet service, the actions being taken country wide against the coronavirus drive home the impact of the digital divide and broadband inequity in the United States. Although plans across America are being handled differently and indivudally, there are more and more news stories surrounding school districts closing and offering online classes in order to slow or stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading. This is cause…

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Sun Runs Kent County Op-Ed on Kirwan

The Baltimore Sun recently published a an article written by Kent County Administrator Shelley Heller and Kent County Board of County Commission President Tom Mason concerning the Kirwan Blueprint legislation currently being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. From The Baltimore Sun: How does a jurisdiction become classified as wealthy? According to the “wealth formula,” wealth is calculated by adding a percentage of property taxes to a percentage of income tax, and dividing by the…

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