New Course Trains High School Students to Be 9-1-1 Telecommunicators

Students in Anne Arundel County will participate in the country’s first-ever program aimed at training high schoolers to be 9-1-1 telecommunicators. Glen Burnie High School is set to launch the program next year, which will focus on teaching students how to respond to a person calling 9-1-1 in distress and how to operate the technology in today’s 9-1-1 centers.

According to The Baltimore Sun:

Twenty-two applied to take “Police Communications: Entry Level Call Taker Training,” a yearlong elective class that includes classroom instruction, simulations and visits to the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s 911 dispatch center.

The 15 who are selected will learn computer-aided dispatch software; mapping location skills; and laws, policies and procedures for taking, screening and dispatching calls, according to the course description.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department, who proposed the program, hopes the class will help to fill vacancies at its 9-1-1 call centers, as well as 9-1-1 call centers across the state. High stress, training standards, and long hours have led to a nationwide shortage of 9-1-1 telecommunicators.

Maryland citizens demand and expect 9-1-1 emergency service to be reliable and efficient. Next-generation technology is required to keep up with this increasingly complex public safety function – improving wireless caller location, accommodating incoming text/video, and managing crisis-driven call overflows. Maryland must accelerate its move toward NG911, deliver these essential services equitably across the state, and assure effective coordination with communications providers.

Counties encourage efforts to enhance emergency communications in Maryland. HB 634/SB 285 – Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland – Establishment, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative, urges a statewide effort to guide this critical transition, harnessing public safety industry leadership and expertise to address complex public safety concerns that will help Maryland prepare for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system that our residents expect and deserve.

Senate Bill 285, sponsored by Senator Cheryl Kagan, passed the Senate unanimously on February 20. Its cross-file, House Bill 634, sponsored by Delegate Michael Jackson, passed the House of Delegates unanimously on March 15. Governor Hogan signed the legislation into law on April 24th.

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, learn best practices for assessing, planning, and developing maintenance routines to keep Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data NG911 compliant.

Calibrating the Compass: GIS in a Next Gen 9-1-1 World

Description: Most 9-1-1 centers determine a mobile caller’s location based on technology that was adopted two decades ago…before cell phones were equipped with GPS. Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) will deliver more accurate location data – similarly to how apps like Uber can pinpoint your exact location – which will allow calls to be routed to the correct jurisdictions faster, potentially saving lives. NG911 will rely on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for call routing, call handling, call delivery, location validation, and emergency response. At this session, county leaders will discuss best practices for assessing, planning, and developing maintenance routines to keep GIS data NG911 compliant.

Speakers:

  • Jack Markey, Director, Division of Emergency Management, Frederick County
  • Kathy Lewis, GIS Specialist, Fire and EMS Communications, Charles County
  • Patrick Callahan, GIS Manager, Office of Information Technology, Prince George’s County
  • Matthew Sokol, GIS Program Manager, Maryland Department of Information Technology

Moderator: The Honorable Cheryl Kagan, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Conduit Street Podcast: On the Road with MACo, “Staggering” Price of Pre-K, & Primary Election Roundup

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss MACo’s odyssey across Maryland, update the “too close to call” county primary races, and explore the potential implications of the Kirwan Commission’s staggering cost estimates for expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K in Maryland.

Listen here:

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Expanding Pre-K Comes with “Staggering” Price Tag

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Some County Primary Races Still Too Close to Call (Updated)

Montgomery Asks Residents to “Lighten Their Loads”

This summer, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Safeway stores are partnering to help save shoppers energy and money on their lighting with “Lighten Your Load” events.

According to a press release:

On select days at Safeway locations, bring old incandescent and/or compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and receive up to three free LED light bulbs and a new, reusable shopping bag. These “Lighten Your Load” events are a way to save on electric bills and ensure that plastics and dangerous substances, like mercury, do not enter the waste stream.

You can swap your old incandescent and/or CFL bulbs for energy-efficient LEDs on Mondays this summer from 4 to 6 p.m. at the following Safeway locations. Look for DEP staff in front of each store:

  • July 16: Silver Spring Safeway at 909 Thayer, Silver Spring, 20910
  • July 23: Germantown Safeway at 19718 Germantown Road, Germantown, 20874
  • July 30: Rockville Safeway at 5510 Norbeck Road, Rockville, 20853
  • August 6: Wheaton Safeway at 11201 Georgia Ave, Wheaton, 20902
  • August 13: Damascus Safeway at 9807 Main Street, Damascus, 20872
  • August 20: Olney Safeway at 3333 Spartan Road, Olney, 20832

Participants can bring as many bulbs as they have available, but during the swap, each family is limited to receiving three free LEDs. All bulbs collected during the swap will be properly recycled or disposed.

“We’re giving away replacement LEDs, because it’s a small change that makes a big impact for residents’ utility bills and the environment,” said Patty Bubar, acting director of the Montgomery County DEP. “About 80 percent of households still use incandescent bulbs, and the summer months also have some of the highest electricity bills. It’s the perfect time to make the switch.”

“We take our commitment to energy efficiency and reducing waste seriously,” said Darcie Renn, director of sustainability at Safeway. “By partnering with Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, our customers have the opportunity to save energy and lower their utility bills while also reducing waste that goes to the landfill.”

“Lighten the Load” events are part of the Department of Environmental Protection’s efforts to educate residents and businesses about simple actions we can all take to save energy and money.

Read the full press release or visit mygreenmontgomery.org/energy for more information.

Cybersecurity CTE Programs on the Rise

Cybersecurity programs that allow students to earn professional credentials or college credit are becoming increasingly popular at schools across the country. The demand for these programs comes amid a skills shortage projection foreseeing 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the high-demand sector by 2021.

According to Ed Tech:

One need not even look beyond the school walls or district boundaries to see how important cybersecurity is — education is, after all, one of the most popular targets for hackers. In adopting these programs, schools aren’t just contributing to the future cybersecurity workforce at large. They could also be training the future employees who will keep the bevy of sensitive data now stored by schools and districts on on-site servers or in the cloud.

But in the broader sense, cybersecurity programs serve a demand for more career and technical education (CTE) opportunities that prepare students who may not have the option of attending college for high-demand career fields. As an added bonus, they provide college credit to those who plan on continuing at a postsecondary education or those who might do so later on.

Read the full article for more information.

Known as the Kirwan Commission because it is chaired by former University System Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, the Commission on Innovation and Excellence is charged with reviewing and assessing current education financing formulas and accountability measures. The Commission was originally set to complete its work in time for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, but last October asked for an extension when it became clear the deadline was not realistic. Prior to breaking for the 2018 legislative session, the Commission released a preliminary report detailing its preliminary recommendations.

Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan (Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives)

Developing a world-class CTE program in Maryland has become a major point of emphasis for the Kirwan Commission, so much so that it has assigned a workgroup to develop CTE pathways that lead directly into aligned postsecondary technical degrees as well as industry credentials. The Commission has also discussed creating a communications plan to dispel the notion that CTE programs are only meant for students who do not excel in traditional academic subjects.

You can learn more about the Kirwan Commission, as well as its plans for improving CTE programs in Maryland, by attending the 2018 MACo Summer Conference.

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0

Description: The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the state revise current education funding formulas? And what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? The Commission released preliminary policy recommendations earlier this year, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. Spending formulas, systematic accountability, and resource equity are all hot topics. How will the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations affect county governments? This session focuses on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 10:15 am – 11:15 am

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

State Investigating Russian Oligarch’s Links to Election Software

At a news conference on Friday, Governor Larry Hogan, Senate President Mike Miller, and House Speaker Michael Busch said the FBI informed them that without the state’s knowledge, a Russian Oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin bought the software vendor that maintains part of the state’s voter registration system. While there is no evidence that state elections were compromised, they’ve asked state Attorney General Brian Frosh to investigate the Maryland Board of Elections’ contract with ByteGrid LLC and that they’d seek federal assistance from the Department of Homeland Security to ensure there are no breaches during the general election in November.

According to NPR:

“We don’t have any idea whether they meddled in the elections at all,” Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch said during a Friday press conference. “We just know that there’s Russian investment into the vendor system that we use to operate our elections.”

Nikki Charlson, the deputy administrator for Maryland’s State Board of Elections, said in a statement that her office will work to confirm that no fraudulent actions have taken place.

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, in a statement, echoed calls by Miller and Busch, both Democrats, for the state’s board of election to evaluate and address any vulnerabilities within its system.

“While the information relayed to us did not indicate that any wrongdoing or criminal acts have been discovered, we are fast approaching an election in November, and even the appearance of the potential for bad actors to have any influence on our election infrastructure could undermine public trust in the integrity of our election system,” Hogan said.

MACo is actively engaged with the State Board of Elections (SBE) and Local Boards of Elections (LBEs) to maintain the integrity of state and local election systems and data. Counties administer and fund elections at the local level, overseeing polling places and coordinating poll workers every two years.

MACo’s Information Technology Affiliate, SBE, and LBEs have partnered with SBE identify steps that can be taken to enhance security for the upcoming general election. This collaborative effort will promote best practices and information sharing to protect the systems and data we use to conduct elections.

Read the full article for more information.

At MACo’s Summer Conference, attendees will see a demonstration of what can happen to a 9-1-1 Call Center during a cyber attack from the Maryland Air National Guard and Maryland Defense Force. Attendees will also hear from leading cybersecurity firms how counties can work with their employees to keep all data and critical infrastructure safe. The Center for Internet Security will share free tools available to county governments seeking to assess their cyber preparedness. An Israeli-based firm Radiflow will present cyber-security solutions for infrastructure including public water and wastewater systems, transportation and energy systems.

Speakers for the Summer Conference session include:

  • Ryan Spelman, MPA GSLC GCCC, Senior Director, Business Development, Center for Internet Security
  • Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Molina, Maryland Air National Guard and Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kendzierski, Maryland Defense Force
  • Ilan Barda, CEO, Radiflow

The Honorable Edward Reilly, Maryland State Senate will moderate this panel.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Expanding Pre-K Comes with “Staggering” Price Tag

Expanding high-quality pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds and low-income three-year-olds is a hallmark of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence’s preliminary report. The Early Childhood Education workgroup, one of four workgroups tasked with costing out the Commission’s preliminary recommendations, today released initial cost estimates for expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K in Maryland — and the numbers are staggering.

Cost of Expanding Pre-K in Maryland

According to the education consulting firm Augenblick, Palaich, And Associates (APA) and the Maryland State Department of Education, expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K to low income (300% FPL) four-year-olds would cost approximately $230 million in 2019.

By 2024, the cost for expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K to low-income (300% FPL) four-year-olds jumps to approximately $456 million.

Notably, while the Commission’s preliminary report calls for expanding pre-K to all four-year-olds, these estimates only account for low-income four-year-olds.

The cost of expanding high-quality, full-day pre-K to all low-income (300% FPL) three-year-olds would cost approximately $456 million.

One Commissioner called the numbers “staggering,” while others questioned whether the State should include the cost of high-quality pre-K as part of its compensatory program. The compensatory program is designed to provide extra support to students coming from backgrounds of poverty. For every student who qualifies for Free and Reduced Price Meals, school systems receive an amount equal to 97% of their per-pupil foundation amount.

As Maryland expands pre-kindergarten for young children in the state, building the capacity of the early childhood education (ECE) workforce will be a key issue. The workgroup plans to review the current requirements for ECE educators before presenting their final recommendations to the full Commission.

Judy Centers/Early Childhood Development Centers

Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers, known as “Judy Centers,” offer a wide range of services for low-income children and their families. Maryland’s Network of 25 Family Support Centers provide free, comprehensive services to families, targeting parents and their young children.

The Early Childhood Education workgroup will recommend expanding Judy Centers and Family Support Centers to provide and coordinate access to education and support services for at-risk young children ages 0-5 and their families. The plan calls for the expansion of Judy Centers to be phased in over ten years, with the neediest communities receiving the highest priority.

MSDE will be required to consider geographic diversity when selecting a Title I school to locate a new Judy Center and coordinate placement of new Judy Centers in order to serve multiple Title I schools in a high needs area or region.

Like Judy Centers, the expansion of Family Support Centers will be phased in over ten years, with priority in opening new Family Support Centers going to on the most underserved neediest communities.

MSDE will be required to consider geographic diversity when selecting regions to locate a new Family Support Center and coordinate placement of new Family Support Centers in order to serve multiple, adjacent counties or areas in need of a Family Support Center. Currently, nine counties (Calvert, Charles, Garrett, Harford, Howard, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester) do not have a Family Support Center.

The workgroup’s plan calls on the State to open three new centers a year so that by FY2029, there will be 30 new Family Support Centers.

The Commission’s four working groups will continue working to develop a consensus on the design, implementation plan, and cost for each of the preliminary recommendations. Once the working groups have completed their work, they will present their recommendations and cost estimates to the full Commission. The chair will work with staff and consultants to develop a draft cost estimate based on the recommendations of the working groups (as considered by the full Commission) for the full Commission’s consideration.

The 2016 Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was created by legislation introduced in the General Assembly. The Commission membership parallels that of the earlier Thornton Commission.

The Commission was originally set to complete its work in time for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, but last October asked for an extension when it became clear the deadline was not realistic. Prior to breaking for the 2018 legislative session, the Commission released a preliminary report detailing its preliminary recommendations.

MACo is entitled to two representatives on the Commission, under the legislation. Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Chair, and Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Vice Chair, represent MACo on the Commission.

The Commission’s next meeting will be held on Friday, July 13, 2018; 9:30 am-5:30 pm, at 120 House Office Building (House Appropriations Committee Room), 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, Maryland.

Materials from today’s meeting are available on the Department of Legislative Services website, and meetings viewable online by searching the House Appropriations Committee room on the dates of each meeting.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

2017 Preliminary Report

Previous Conduit Street Coverage

The Commission is expected to complete its work in time for the 2019 session of the General Assembly, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, attend this general session to learn how county governments could be affected by the Commission’s final report.

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0

Description: The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the state revise current education funding formulas? And what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? The Commission released preliminary policy recommendations earlier this year, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. Spending formulas, systematic accountability, and resource equity are all hot topics. How will the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations affect county governments? This session focuses on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 10:15 am – 11:15 am

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

 

Putting Our Best Food Forward: A Sea of Possibilities at #MACoCon

Maryland counties purchase billions of dollars of food each year for hospitals, jails, schools, senior programs, cafeterias, and other county-owned or -operated facilities. At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, attend this session to learn how to leverage this purchasing power to promote food that aligns with your county’s values of health, local economic vitality, and sustainability.

Putting Our Best Food Forward: A Sea of Possibilities

Description: Maryland counties purchase billions of dollars of food each year for hospitals, jails, schools, senior programs, cafeterias, and other county-owned or -operated facilities. Hear from panelists who have leveraged this purchasing power to promote food that aligns with their counties’ values of health, local economic vitality, and sustainability. Panelists will share concrete, cost-effective strategies to develop and implement food procurement practices that improve health outcomes for residents while supporting our state’s agriculture (and water!) system.

Speakers:

  • The Honorable Danielle Glaros, Council Chair, Prince George’s County Council
  • Chloe Waterman, Senior Food Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
  • Elizabeth Marchetta, Director, Food and Nutrition Services, Baltimore City Public Schools

Moderator: The Honorable Sheree Sample-Hughes, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0 at #MACoCon

Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan (Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives)

Known as the Kirwan Commission because it is chaired by former University System Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, the Commission on Innovation and Excellence is charged with reviewing and assessing current education financing formulas and accountability measures. The Commission was originally set to complete its work in time for the 2018 session of the General Assembly, but last October asked for an extension when it became clear the deadline was not realistic. Prior to breaking for the 2018 legislative session, the Commission released a preliminary report detailing its preliminary recommendations.

The Commission is expected to complete its work in time for the 2019 session of the General Assembly, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, attend this general session to learn how county governments could be affected by the Commission’s final report.

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0

Description: The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the state revise current education funding formulas? And what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? The Commission released preliminary policy recommendations earlier this year, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas — including the pattern and role of county funding. Spending formulas, systematic accountability, and resource equity are all hot topics. How will the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations affect county governments? This session focuses on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 10:15 am – 11:15 am

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Conduit Street Podcast: New Tech Driving New Policy – Part One

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss how new technology is driving new policy in Maryland. In part one of this two-part series, we focus on new and evolving technology that is external to government – ridesharing, peer-to-peer property rentals, drones, GPS and navigation software, and autonomous vehicles.

Stay tuned for part two of our discussion, which will focus on how new policies could impact new technologies and their effect on land use, zoning, public safety, and privacy/transparency.

Listen here:

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website.

For more great tech, be sure to check out MACo’s Tech Expo at the 2018 MACo Summer Conference. 3 tech-focused sessions (cybersecurity, small cells, and biotech), 50 tech vendors, 1 day only – Wednesday, August 15.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Questions? vwhite@mdcounties.org

Brochin Requests Recount in Baltimore County Democratic Primary

Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives

State Senator Jim Brochin has formally requested a full manual recount in the Democratic primary for Baltimore County Executive — a race he lost by just nine votes to former Delegate Johnny Olszewski. The recount will be conducted by the Baltimore County Board of Elections with support from the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Maryland law does not require automatic recounts, but because Olszewski’s margin of victory is razor-thin — less than 0.1 percent, Senator Brochin is not required to foot the bill. Instead, the Baltimore County Board of Elections will be responsible for covering the costs.

According to Md. Election Law Code Ann. § 12-107(b)(2), a petitioner is responsible for the cost of a recount with the following exceptions:

(i) the outcome of the election is changed;

(ii) the petitioner has gained a number of votes, for the petitioner’s candidacy or for or against the question that is the subject of the petition, equal to 2% or more of the total votes cast for the office or on the question, in all precincts being recounted; or

(iii) 1. the margin of difference in the number of votes received by an apparent winner and the losing candidate with the highest number of votes for an office is 0.1% or less of the total votes cast for those candidates;

2. in the case of a question, the margin of difference between the number of votes cast for and the number cast against the question is 0.1% or less.

The recount is expected to begin on Thursday, July 12.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.