Howard County’s interim superintendent puts mark on school system

There’s a reason the local school superintendent is the highest paid local official in Maryland’s counties. It’s the toughest job in the county, heading the institutions where taxpayers spend the most money and that touch the most lives. The fierce competition for the top talent also drives up the salaries, and the average superintendent of large urban and suburban school system lasts only about four years in the job.

Crunch time coming for Kirwan commission; public hearings set

Crunch time is coming for the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, chaired by former University System Chancellor Brit Kirwan and commonly known as the Kirwan commission. After nine meetings over the past year, the 24-member commission has heard from dozens of experts and consultants on many aspects of education policy, practice and funding. Now, it’s time to make some recommendations and decisions for a report due to the governor and legislature in December.

Democrats laud Hogan as they celebrate Purple Line start

It was not a cold day in hell, but a cool morning in August that found Maryland’s usually scornful Democrats heaping praise on Republican Larry Hogan, including a current and a past election opponent of the governor. The Democratic elected officials even showered praise on a Trump administration cabinet secretary — without anyone mentioning the president’s name. Prompting the praise was the groundbreaking and federal funding of the Purple Line, Maryland’s largest mass transit project in decades.

Unconventional Republican runs for comptroller

Anjali Reed Phukan has been the only official candidate for state comptroller for four months now. She filed the same day she became a Republican on April 20, saying she wanted to be an “environmental Republican” like Gov. Larry Hogan. The 39-year-old Montgomery County native is as unconventional as her name

County officials flock to Ocean City to snooze, schmooze

As they’ve done since the 1970s, hundreds of county officials flocked to the Ocean City Convention Center this past week to snooze and schmooze at the annual summer conference of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo). Snooze is what most of their constituents would be doing at the scores of conference sessions on the nitty-gritty of local government, from planning and appeals to hiring and tourism. Attendance is actually quite good, and some sessions are packed.

Rockville town square

What is Montgomery Reporter?

Montgomery Reporter just published as complete a list as we could come up with of candidates in Montgomery County for local, state and federal office. What is Montgomery Reporter anyway? Montgomery Reporter is the edition of MarylandReporter.com devoted to news about Montgomery County government and politics.

Sen. Kagan considers race for Montgomery County executive

Sen. Cheryl Kagan is an unconventional politician, particularly when it comes to fundraising. No breakfast fundraisers or evening receptions for the Gaithersburg senator. Kagan goes more for ice cream socials and afternoon concerts with the kind of singer-songwriters she’s been promoting in house concerts for years, as she did Sunday afternoon at an art gallery in the new Crown section of Gaithersburg, part of District 17.

Pension system investments earned 10% in FY ’17, but long term returns still lag

The investment portfolio of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System returned 10.02% for the fiscal year that ended June 30, raising the assets of the system to $49 billion, an increase of $3.6 billion over last year. That still leaves an unfunded liability of at least $20 billion. The exact amount of the shortfall if all promised benefits had to be paid out immediately has yet to be calculated this year.The year’s performance exceeded the system’s 7.55% target for annual return, and raised the five-year average to 7.64%.