MACo Features Innovations in Education at Winter Conference

Photo: Senator Mac Middleton and Betty Weller, President, Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), Chris Parts, US Green Building Council, Maryland Chapter At the 2013 Winter Conference, MACo featured new programs and initiatives that may create possibilities for more unconventional educational options in Maryland. Panelists engaged in a broad-based discussion of topics that challenge some traditional notions of schooling.  Senator Mac Middleton facilitated the discussion. Val Emrich, Director of Instructional Technology, Maryland State Department of Education…

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Free Online Educational Workshops Offered to County Officials

Join thousands of county officials and staff around the country in timely, practical education in one or more of the many topics on NACo’s agenda. Register by linking to the webinar(s) from the list that follows.  When you join the webinar, you’ll hear the presentation live by your choice of either phone or computer, and you’ll see the presentation on your computer screen. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Odorimah, Education and Training…

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“Last Day” Issues Wrap Up

As reported yesterday by MACo, a number of issues with county effect remained in play prior to the midnight deadline for the General Assembly session.  Below is an overview of how each of those bills ultimately played out: Maintenance of Effort – As reported yesterday, three bills were awaiting  final action. MACo supported HB 44 and SB 53 as a legislative initiative, to expand and balance the process for considering county MOE waiver requests —and…

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Montgomery County Response Filed on MOE Debate

Montgomery County has filed its response to the recent petition before the State Board of Education, seeking "clarifications" to the maintenance of effort laws. The State Board has yet to indicate a definitive path toward resolution for these issues (questioning the process for a county that may be unable to meet MOE for a given year, and questioning the ability of county councils to cut the education budget). Board of Education of Montgomery County -…

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Anne Arundel Budget Debate Highlights “Different World” For Education

Among the six counties seeking a waiver from the state's maintenance of effort funding level this year is Anne Arundel County, whose submitted request seeks relief of less than 2% of the specified funding amount. However, the underlying debate in that county serves to highlight the seemingly inevitable friction arising from difficult budget times. From the Baltimore Sun's coverage of the county's waiver request, here is County Executive John Leopold speaking about the county's changing…

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MACo Weighs In On Maintenance of Effort “Interpretation” Issues

As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Montgomery County Board of Education has asked that the State Board of Education issue a declaratory ruling to interpret several facets of the state's "maintenance of effort" law. Were the County Board successful in its petition, counties not receiving a MOE waiver (through the much-debated process still under legislative review) would face an absolute mandate to fund at the MOE level. Further, the County Board seeks a ruling…

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Signs of Life on Maintenance of Effort? “Penalty Delay” Bill Begins to Move

While two cross-filed bills with strong leadership sponsors were introduced early in session to modify the maintenance of effort waiver process, both HB 44 and SB 53 remain stalled in their committees of origin, even after the "crossover" deadline has come and gone. However, today the House Ways and Means Committee's Education Subcommittee took up, for the first time this session, legislation to address maintenance of effort. The bill they discussed, and passed, however, was…

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County Issues Watch – Week of March 28 – April 1

The General Assembly has passed its "crossover" date, meaning most legislation destined to pass has been approved by its house of origin. As always, exceptions apply - and there remains much work to be done in Annapolis in these final days until the April 11 end of session. Here we will detail issues of interest to the county community that are likely to play out during the week of March 28-April 1, 2011. Budget Conference…

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FY 2012 Maintenance of Effort Waivers – Letters Due April 1

The deadline for counties to file a formal request for a waiver from their FY 2012 maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement will be April 1, 2011.  The State Board of Education will adhere to this statutory deadline as referenced in the Maryland Education Article, Section 5-202 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  County governments must prove that the county’s fiscal condition “significantly impedes” the county’s ability to fund maintenance of effort (MOE). By the April…

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Senate Budget Committee Approves Budget Plan: Rejects Pension Shift, Agrees To One-Time Funding for Local Roads

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee approved its plan to modify the Governor's 2012 proposed budget, concurring with a large number of the actions taken by the House.  As a part of their plan, the Senate Committee concurred with the House to restore funding for education, rejected a Department of Legislative Services (DLS) recommendation to transfer 50 percent of teacher retirement expenses to the local boards of education, and concurred with a one-time payment of…

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