2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Education

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo's work in the area of education policy in the 2021 General Assembly. Counties support education as the largest component of their budgets, with operating and capital support for schools typically representing a larger share of a county budget than all other functions combined. Statutory formulas drive most state-level funding, which requires constant attention to the state-county balance in funding responsibilities. The burden of costly mandates can…

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Hogan Announces Additional $10M in Grants for Maryland Schools

Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland State Department of Education today announced $10 million in grant awards to support schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact education in Maryland. The announced funding will provide $1 million grants to 10 programs in order to address the needs of at-risk students and support innovative education solutions. Awarded through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), the funding will provide grants to local school…

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Maryland Casino Revenues Hit Record High

With most operating at full capacity for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, Maryland’s six casinos generated a single-month record of $169,179,016 in gaming revenue during the month of March, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The total represents an increase of $5,916,168 (3.6%) compared to March of 2019, when the casinos produced the previous single-month record of $163,262,848. In 2020, all six casinos were closed from March 16…

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Carroll County Public Schools Hold Second Mental Health Seminar

Carroll County Public Schools held their second 'Navigating Difficult Waters' event, which is aimed at educating the school community about mental health and wellness.  As covered by the Carrol County Times event attendees had the opportunity to listen to a variety of speakers and participate in breakout sessions in a virtual setting. The breakout session covered the differences between mental health and mental illness along with suicide prevention. 'Navigating Difficult Waters' was led by therapist…

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Six Maryland Community Colleges Form Maryland Education Alliance

Six Maryland community colleges across the state have announced the formation of the Maryland Education Alliance (MEA). Currently, the MEA is composed of the College of Southern Maryland, Anne Arundel Community College, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, Harford Community College, and Prince George's Community College. The goal of the Alliance is to create an easy pathway for students to transfer from one community college to another in order to boost enrollment in certain programs. This will…

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Kirwan “Blueprint 2.0” Follow-up Bill Passed, Sent on to Governor

HB 1372, the follow-up bill adjusting multiple facets of the Kirwan Blueprint school plan, accommodating both the effects of the pandemic and the veto/override timetable, has passed the General Assembly. The "fix up" bill tending to multiple facets of the 2020 Kirwan Blueprint for Maryland's Future has passed, after receiving amendments in both chambers. The House has accepted the Senate changes, and the bill will be sent to Governor Hogan for his approval. Thus far,…

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Prince George’s Partners with BusPatrol to Improve School Bus Safety

Prince George's County recently announced a new partnership with BusPatrol to launch a school bus safety program in order to increase student safety as they travel to and from school. All of the 1,216 buses in the PGCPS fleet have been upgraded with safety technology from BusPatrol and its technology partners Zonar, Samsung and Transfinder at no cost to the school system or taxpayers. From the press release: The technology package includes cloud-connected stop-arm cameras…

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Hogan Administration Adopts Updated CDC Guidelines for Schools

State officials yesterday announced that Maryland will be adopting the new guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending students maintain three feet in distance, with universal masking still in place. State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon and Deputy Public Health Secretary Dr. Jinlene Chan yesterday issued a letter to notify school systems of the update in state guidance on social distancing within the classroom. In compliance with CDC guidance,…

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Kirwan Follow-Up Bill Moving, With County Capacity Study

HB 1372, legislation adjusting and remedying a variety of components of the recently enacted Blueprint for Maryland's Future school funding plan, has passed the House, with a new section calling for a study of county "capacity" to afford its provisions. HB 1372 - Blueprint for Maryland’s Future – Revisions was a late-filed bill designed to adjust multiple provisions in the much-heralded school funding proposal, HB 1300 from 2020. Because that bill was vetoed and then…

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