Highest paid Md. lobbyists remain the same

The top 10 highest paid lobbyists in Maryland remained the same this year, and in about the same order, according to figures just released from the State Ethics Commission. All had billings over $1 million, with Tim Perry and Gerry Evans number 1 and 2 at over $2 million. The figures do not just represent personal compensation, but all the billings made to support their offices and staff. Another 18 lobbyists, often in the same firms as the top 10, billed over $500,000.

Big pay hikes for teachers proposed, along with a career ladder

Big increases in teacher salaries along with the creation of statewide career ladder that would put teachers in line with other “high-status professions” are among the key recommendations a statewide commission on school funding will make to the legislature this year. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, charged with looking at a wide range of education issues, will also recommend teams of teachers be given greater autonomy and spend less time in the classroom and more time collaborating on teaching strategies.

More career programs in Md. schools one aim of Kirwan commission

In 2016, there were 97,857 students in Maryland enrolled in career and technology education programs across the 237 schools that offered them. A state education commission, helmed by former University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan, is weighing how to increase the scope and funding for these programs as part of its broad look into improving Maryland schools.

Md. lawmakers weigh integrating services to break poverty cycle

To end multi-generational poverty, state and local agencies should integrate services such as early childhood development, temporary cash assistance and mental health programming, a governor-mandated commission told Maryland lawmakers Tuesday. Two state legislative committees met Tuesday in Annapolis to evaluate the benefits of the two-generational approach, which looks at the needs of a family as a whole, rather than viewing children and parents separately.

Md. needs to invest in farm-fresh food for low-income families

Maryland has the opportunity to move forward on a win-win program that directly invests in farmers throughout the state and helps low-income families purchase local and farm-fresh food. But we need Gov. Larry Hogan’s support to ensure the program receives funding.

Wrong on school funding, showing the folly of predictions

Suddenly last week, Chairman Brit Kirwan said the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education wouldn’t be able to meet the deadline established for recommending new school funding formulas. Last year’s prediction of a broad and contentious debate about how to dole out state aid for education this coming session was off by at least a year.

Kirwan Commission won’t finish school funding recommendations this year

The commission charged with revising state school funding formulas will not be able to finish its work by its Dec. 31 deadline, commission chair Brit Kirwan told the panel Wednesday. “It will take more time to do our work completely and accurately,” said Kirwan, the former university system chancellor. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education is trying to reach consensus on major changes on how the state and local governments should spend the largest single slice of state and local budgets.