School Budgets Across US May Struggle During Pandemic

As sales tax revenues drop due to the outbreak of COVID-19, district finances could be in for a "major upheaval" in the upcoming school year. School districts that majority funded by the state will likely feel strong effects compared to districts funded more heavily on property taxes. This is also concerning as higher-poverty districts tend to rely more heavily on state funding according to the National Center for Education Statistics. From Education Dive: While K-12…

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Montgomery Plans to Create $20 Million Fund for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

The Montgomery County Council has introduced legislation designed to get money flowing quickly to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The $20 million fund would provide companies with $75,000 each to deal with the burdens. The Washington Business Journal reports: The full County Council introduced legislation on the topic Tuesday with County Executive Marc Elrich’s support. The new grants will be open to any business or nonprofit with 100 or fewer full-time employees, a bid…

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Educational Leaders Say CARES Act Isn’t Enough

Advocates such as Chip Slaven, Chief Advocacy Officer for the National School Boards Association, say that much more resources are needed and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is only a small step forward. The CARES Act, which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously and will now be considered in the House of Representatives, would provide $30.75 billion in emergency relief funds for the U.S. Department of Education with $13.5 billion for…

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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Hit Record 3.3 Million Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

A record 3.3 million Americans, including 42,000 Marylanders, filed for unemployment benefits last week, as businesses shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week's revised level, according to the United States Department of Labor. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally…

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Chesapeake Bay Program Releases Latest Bay Barometer

The Chesapeake Bay Program has released its 2018-2019 Bay Barometer that provides an overview of the Chesapeake Bay's health and the status of restoration efforts. The Bay Barometer includes updates on crab and oyster populations, underwater grasses, invasive species, and pollution reduction strategies. From a statement on the publication: The data in Bay Barometer reflect the Chesapeake Bay’s health over the course of many years and, in some cases, decades. The publication offers a snapshot…

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State Moves Forward with Plan to Conduct Presidential Primary Election Via Mail

As health officials warn that social distancing and other measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic might be in place months, the Maryland State Board of Elections (SBE) yesterday voted to ban any in-person voting for the special general election on April 28 and recommended against in-person voting for the June 2 presidential primary election. https://twitter.com/KKinnally_MACo/status/1242902825631453184 Earlier this month, Governor Larry Hogan ordered the special general election to fill the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’s congressional seat…

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City Releases COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan for People Experiencing Homelessness

Baltimore City Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young has released an emergency response plan for people experiencing homelessness. From a city news release: Mayor Young directed the Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) to work in partnership with homeless service providers and public and private agencies, to implement a range of prevention and response strategies to support individuals who are at particularly high risk of contracting communicable diseases and unable to self-isolate at home. The city's plan contains…

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Howard to Host Virtual Town Hall on Coronavirus, Census, Upcoming Elections

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will host a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, March 26th at 6:30 pm to answer questions and concerns from County residents concerning COVID-19 and the local response, the census, and upcoming elections. “I want the Howard County community to know that our government is working tirelessly to keep our public safe and informed,” said Ball. “We’re hosting this town hall to provide updates, clarity, and reassurance to our residents as…

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Baltimore City Approves COVID-19 Pandemic Mission Critical Stipend

Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young today announced the COVID-19 Pandemic Mission Critical Stipend, which will provide additional compensation for frontline, public-facing employees amid the coronavirus outbreak. “It is critical that we provide any relief we can to our front line employees to ease burdens at home while they continue to go to work on behalf of the city and its residents,” Mayor Young said. According to a press release: Baltimore City’s frontline public-facing…

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Maryland Receives “A” in Social Distancing

A newly created Social Distancing Scoreboard gives Maryland an overall "A" rating, with Montgomery County topping the state leaderboard. New nationwide polling suggests that the United States is taking social distancing more seriously, but officials are still urging all residents to stay in their homes as much as possible. Unacast has created a new way they believe can measure how well residents are practicing social distancing. Scores are generated through an analysis of mobile phone…

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