State Roundup: Choudhury withdraws request for 2nd term heading state education; Common Cause advocates for lower voting age in local elections

State Roundup: Choudhury withdraws request for 2nd term heading state education; Common Cause advocates for lower voting age in local elections

The Maryland State Department of Education is housed at the Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building in downtown Baltimore. (

SUPERINTENDENT CHOUDHURY, ED DEPARTMENT TO PART WAYS: Maryland Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury is withdrawing his request for a second term after a problem-plagued two-year tenure, and the state Board of Education will embark on a national search for a successor to lead the Education Department and shepherd a historic $3.8 billion program to transform Maryland’s public education system, the board and Choudhury said in a joint statement on Friday. Ovetta Wiggins, Valerie Strauss and Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.

  • The board noted several accomplishments under Choudhury’s tenure since he took over in July 2021, including guiding the state Department of Education’s strategic plan, the Maryland Tutoring Corps initiative and other programs. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
  • It was not immediately clear whether he will remain in the position until June 2024, when his current contract will expire, or leave sooner. But the Maryland State Board of Education and Choudhury said in a joint statement that by the next board meeting on Sept. 26, they would “present plans for transition and a national search,” suggesting that he may leave before next summer. Liz Bowie, Pamela Wood and Lillian Reed/The Baltimore Banner.
  • “I believe the current superintendent made a good decision,” Nancy Grasmick, who retired in 2011 as the nation’s longest-serving appointed schools chief, said in a phone interview. “When you have so many issues that have surfaced, it’s very difficult to keep the focus on the work that has to be done.” Jack Hogan/The Daily Record.

OPINION: THE SHAKESPEAREAN RISE AND FALL OF CHOUDHURY: The appointment of Mohammed Choudhury as state schools superintendent has been a gripping story which I have followed closely. As he was about to assume office in July 2021, I commended the state board on appointing someone with his potential. Between then and this spring, his relationships rapidly deteriorated across the board. This past May, I wrote that after weighing the pros and cons of his tenure, “it seems unavoidable that Mr. Choudhary must go.” Kalman Hettleman/Maryland Matters.

MD COMMON CAUSE ADVOCATES FOR LOWER VOTING AGE: Common Cause Maryland is encouraging local officials to allow more young people to vote in local elections. The nonprofit advocacy organization, based in Annapolis, posed a question in a recent mass email: “Do you agree with lowering the voting age to 16 for local elections so young people can have a say in the issues that directly impact them?” William Ford/Maryland Matters.

LEGAL AID, COMMUNITY SERVICE GROUPS BEGIN OUTREACH ON EVICTION COUNSEL: Representatives from Maryland Legal Aid and Community Legal Services knocked on 30 doors in one Annapolis community on Sept. 14 to let residents know that they have more rights in disputes with landlords than they might think. Outreach is the latest phase in the implementation of a 2021 state law establishing the right to free legal representation for low-income tenants facing eviction in Maryland. Steph Quinn of Capital News Service/

FEDERAL SHUTDOWN OF SEPT. 30 LOOMS: About two-and-half weeks remain until the government runs out money and absent swift action from Congress a shutdown will occur at midnight on Sep. 30. To keep the government open, Congress is expected to try to pass a stopgap funding bill known as a Continuing Resolution. A CR maintains government funding at current fiscal year levels. Bryan Renbaum/The Baltimore Post Examiner.

ZERO-EMISSIONS VEHICLES SALES UP, BUT NOT ENOUGH: The number of zero-emission vehicles sold and registered in Maryland is growing. But last year electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles made up just over 1% of light-duty vehicles registered in Maryland, leaving a long road to the state’s goal of ending sales of new gas-powered passenger cars and light trucks by model year 2035. Victoria Stavish/The Baltimore Sun.

500 APPLY FOR 200 POSITIONS IN MOORE’s YEAR-OF-SERVICE PROGRAM: About 500 people have applied for Gov. Wes Moore’s signature plan to create a year-of-service program for recent high school graduates, which is scheduled to begin next month. About 200 will be selected to begin on or around Oct. 25. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

SOME COLLEGES PUSH FOR PROGRAMS THAT OTHERS SAY ARE COPIED: Baltimore-area universities are urging state lawmakers to reject applications for new academic programs that copy their already existing ones. Three cases remain undecided this summer, as members of the Maryland Higher Education Commission wait for a designated group of state lawmakers to announce updates to the approval process in December. But some universities refuse to wait until the winter. Bri Hatch/WYPR-FM.

TRONE HOPES TO FLIP PERCEPTION TO ‘OUTSIDER, CHANGE AGENT:’ U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-6th), a wealthy middle-aged white guy, is confident he can flip the narrative that’s built up around the race for the U.S. Senate, which includes Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D), who is seeking to make history as the third Black woman elected to the Senate and has much of the Democratic establishment lining up behind her. “I’m not a member of the club,” he said in a recent interview. “I’m the outsider, I’m the disruptor, I’m the change agent.” Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

NINE ARUNDEL WOMEN TO BE HONORED WITH HAMER AWARDS: Nine women from Anne Arundel County will be honored next month at the Fannie Lou Hamer Awards Reception for their leadership in civil and human rights. This year’s honorees – Courtney Buiniskis, Delores M. Bullock, Renee Cantori, Betsy L. Harris-Dotson, Everdean P. Holloway, Bridget E. Hutchins, Lamiya Kirby, Adriana Lee and Renee Mutchnik – join more than 100 notable women, including former U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Administrative Law Judge Tracey Warren Parker and former Annapolis Mayor Ellen Moyer, who were nominated in years past. Staff/The Annapolis Capital.

MO CO GOP PUSHES FOR EXEC’s TERM LIMITS: Should the Montgomery County executive be limited to two terms? That’s the question Reardon Sullivan, 2022 GOP nominee for county executive, hopes voters will answer in the 2024 election. The former Montgomery County Republican Central Committee chair launched the Committee for Better Government in April, which is leading a ballot petition effort that would give voters the chance to decide that question. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

PROBE SAYS MO CO COUNCIL STAFFER MISUSED COUNCIL FUNDS: An unnamed Montgomery County Council staff member inappropriately used over $19,000 in Council funds to reserve athletic fields for their spouse, according to an investigation from the Office of the Inspector General released on Thursday. Staff/MoCo 360.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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