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)

WMATA Strike Threat + Big Ballgame = OMG, Traffic!

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 members have authorized a strike against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) – a move which could leave All-Star Game attendees at Nationals Park in the lurch, and obviously, significantly impact traffic in the D.C. metropolitan region. metro-station-398840__340

According to a union press release, organization officials are meeting with WMATA management on Tuesday to

have a genuine conversation about the issues that got us to this point. it is not our intention to disrupt the MLB All-Star Game[.]

The union last voted to strike in 1978, “resulting in a weeklong ‘wildcat’ strike,” according to Progressive Railroading.

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:

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:

 

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:

2019 Brings 7.2% Increase State Aid for County, Municipal Governments

The Department of Legislative Services publication, Effect of the 2018 Legislative Program on the Financial Condition of the State, shows a 7.2% increase in state aid for the “county/municipal” category for fiscal year 2019 as compared with the prior year.

This month the Department of Legislative Services published its review of the 2018 General Assembly Session and the effect of the legislation passed on the fiscal condition of the State of Maryland. The report includes a high-level analysis of the changes in funding to county governments and other local government entities. Subchapters in Chapter 4. Local Government include:

  • State Aid to Local Governments
  • Summary of State Mandates
  • Legislation Affecting Local Government Revenues
  • Legislation Affecting Local Government Expenditures

There is a breakdown of the legislative appropriation for the “county/municipal” category, which includes the municipal share of police aid, highway user revenue, and fire aid.

Screenshot 2018-07-06 09.47.47
County/municipal aid, which includes highway user revenues, increases for fiscal year 2019.

Direct state aid for the fiscal 2019 year in the county/municipal category is $741,783, according to the Department. This is an increase from fiscal year 2018, but still only represents less than 10% of total state aid for local governments. As may be seen in the chart below, most of the State’s aid to local governments is provided to public education programs.

Screenshot 2018-07-06 10.05.52
County-municipal aid represents a fraction of aid provided to other local sources.

For more information, see Chapter 4 of the Effect of the 2018 Legislative Program on the Financial Condition of the State.

State Revs Up Corrections Recruitment Efforts

Acknowledging a years-long problem with understaffing at state correctional facilities, the State Division of Corrections plans to step up its recruitment efforts.

The Division continues to hold job fairs and testing all around the state, and most recently announced that it plans to hire a private recruiting firm to fill vacancies.

Herald-Mail highlights frustration from unions, correctional officers, and state elected officials relating to the staffing shortage:

“I don’t understand why we’re having this conversation for three years in a row,” Patrick Moran, president of Council 3 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told Herald-Mail Media on Thursday. …

“What I’m getting is there’s frustration from the correctional officers with the administration and the union,” Del. Mike McKay, R-Washington/Allegany, said. “They feel their concerns are not getting to where they need to go.

“The staffing shortage is unacceptable,” he added.

Last session, the General Assembly included a number of provisions in the budget related to Corrections’ understaffing.

Feds Report More Jobs, Slight Increase in Unemployment Across US

The Department of Labor Statistics reports 213,000 jobs gained, and 4% unemployment during the month of June.

wiatrowski
William J. Wiatrowski
Acting Commissioner
Bureau of Labor Statistics

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 213,000 in June, and the
unemployment rate increased to 4.0 percent. Job gains occurred
in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health
care, while retail trade lost jobs.

Incorporating revisions for April and May, which increased
nonfarm payroll employment by 37,000, monthly job gains have
averaged 211,000 over the past 3 months.

For more information, see the Bureau of Labor Statistics Acting Commissioner’s Statement and Economy adds 213K jobs in June, unemployment ticks up to 4 percent from The Hill.

Conduit Street Podcast: Beating the Heat, Janus v. AFSCME, & Primary Races We’re Still Watching

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss how counties are helping their residents beat the heat, explore the potential impacts of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Janus v. ASFCME, and review some of the county primary races that remain too close to call.

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: Some County Primary Races Still Too Close to Call

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Supreme Court Ruling May Affect Maryland Unions