State roundup: Oversight Board OKs all Blueprint plans

State roundup: Oversight Board OKs all Blueprint plans

Some local jurisdictions are complaining that the cost of the Blueprint is crushing their budgets. Graphic by Baltimore County Public Schools

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OVERSIGHT BOARD APPROVES ALL LOCAL BLUEPRINT REFORM PLANS: The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board approved all 24 school systems’ initial plans as part of the state’s goal to reform public education. The documents approved Thursday are the first submission of Blueprint plans, summarizing the reform work that is complete, currently underway or that will be implemented through the 2023-24 school year. All documents include details on the Blueprint’s focus on early childhood education, hiring and retaining high-quality and diverse teachers, preparing students for college and technical careers and providing additional resources for students in need.  William J. Ford/Maryland Matters

  • The seven-person board did not offer any conditions for signing off on the plan that Baltimore City Public Schools will use to follow guidelines set by the Blueprint. City officials will use Blueprint funds to add to the number of staff positions, increase teacher pay for next year and offer incentives to encourage teachers to seek additional certifications. Despite the new funding, reaching some reform goals will be challenging in the short term, officials say. Lily Price/The Baltimore Sun

RENT STABILIZATION VICTORY FIRES UP MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL: The contentious, months-long political fight ended in applause as Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) signed into law this week a bill limiting rent increases, surrounded by cheering officials and housing activists. It was a hard-fought victory for renter protections that tenant rights advocates had sought for years, including Elrich. The historic slate of council members elected last November is now positioned to tackle issues like public safety, affordable child care, minimum wages for tipped workers and other controversial housing proposals. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post

  • Adam Pagnucco, a long-time political commentator in Montgomery County, has a five-part series in his blog Montgomery Perspective, with reactions to the new rent control law, mostly from people in the housing industry. “In Parts One and Two, my real estate sources commented on how the new rent control law would affect new construction.  In Parts Three and Four, they commented on how the law would affect existing rental properties.  Additionally, some could not restrain themselves to answering those narrow questions and insisted on straying farther afield.”

MCPS OUTLINES TOP 4 PRIORITIES FOR SCHOOL YEAR: The Montgomery County school board recently shared its top four priorities for the coming school year, highlighting math and literacy concerns and school safety as key areas for improvement. The school district is considering developing a mobile app to streamline information-sharing and enhance communication between schools and families, board members say. Em Espey/MoCo 360

INSURRECTIONIST’S THREAT FROM MONTGOMERY CO. SCHOOL UNDER SCRUTINY: A little-known government permitting process in Montgomery County used thousands of times each year was recently thrust into the spotlight after an alleged Jan. 6 insurrectionist made threats to a government official while livestreaming himself from Takoma Park’s Piney Branch Elementary School cafeteria. Permitting officials in the county said the incident raised concerns, but emphasized that most permit requests are carried out without conflict. Em Espey/MoCo 360

 IVAN BATES SCORES CONVICTIONS IN THREE BIG CASES: The squeegee trial verdict delivered Thursday afternoon marked one of three high-profile convictions this week for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates’ office. Some experts say Bates is backing up his promises after pushing a tougher stance on crime during his campaign. Keith Daniels/WBFF 45 (Fox)

MTA HOSTS PUBLIC MEETINGS TO GET RED LINE FEEDBACK: The Maryland Transit Administration is hosting a series of open-house meetings to gather community feedback on the Red Line Project, which could shape the future of public transportation in Baltimore. Officials say that they’re in the early stages of planning and working to figure out if the system should consist of a rapid bus transit or a light rail train. kicked off on Wednesday and will continue through Aug. 2. Three meetings remain. Kelsey Kushner/WJZ 13 (CBS)

BALTO. HIRES A RECORD 700+ TEACHERS: Baltimore City Public Schools has hired over 700 new teachers this summer – setting a new hiring record, according to Chief of Staff Alison Perkins-Cohen. The school system couldn’t give exact numbers for how many vacant positions remain. The Baltimore City Teachers Union says several issues lead to teachers leaving or not choosing to teach in Baltimore, from pay to workload and issues getting their certification. Jeff Morgan/WMAR 2 (ABC)

BALTO. POLICE COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE TO MEET WITH RESIDENTS: Richard Worley, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s nominee to be police commissioner, will attend a series of meetings with residents to build community support as the City Council considers his nomination. The meetings, which were announced this week, will include stops in Northwest, Central, South and East Baltimore, as well as one virtual and two telephone town halls. Scott, who announced Worley’s selection for the post in June, has billed the meetings as an opportunity for residents to hear Worley’s vision for the police department and hear concerns from residents about public safety. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun

COMMENTARY: DO HOGAN AND NO LABELS HAVE A WAY FORWARD?: Maryland’s former Gov. Larry Hogan is positioning himself to run as a presidential candidate under the No Labels banner, the political effort underway to present an alternative to Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Although Hogan has not committed to running, he is making moves in that direction, most notably doing numerous media interviews. It’s no surprise that No Labels, with Hogan as one of its main cheerleaders, has succeeded in getting an initial round of media coverage. But the political honeymoon is coming to a premature end. Jim Pettit/Maryland Reporter

About The Author

Regina Holmes

ReginaHolmes@hotmail.com

Contributing editor Regina Holmes has worked as a journalist for over 30 years. She was an assistant business editor at the Miami Herald and an assistant city editor at Newsday in New York City, where she helped supervise coverage of 9/11, anthrax attacks and the August 2003 Northeast Blackout. As an assistant managing editor of the Baltimore Examiner, she helped launch the free tabloid in 2006. Before joining Maryland Reporter, she was the managing editor for Washington, D.C.-based Talk Media News, where she supervised digital, radio and video production of news reports for over 400 radio stations. The Baltimore native is a graduate of Vassar College and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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