And other legislative updates in this month’s Up the Street

Educators rallied and secured the vote for Wes Moore ahead of the primary.


MSEA-recommended candidates sweep primary races across the state

While some votes are still being counted, it’s clear that at least 84% of MSEA-endorsed candidates were victorious in the July 19 primary, giving educators a great opportunity to see champions for schools. and students hold elective positions at many different levels. The Victory Column includes candidates for County Executive, School Board, County Boards/Commissions, State House and Senate, and the offices of Governor, Comptroller, and Attorney General in the statewide. The MSEA endorsements proved significant and a game-changer in the primary ballot.

Maryland Matters declared the MSEA a “winner” in its list of primary election winners and losers; The MSEA is the only major organization supporting the Democratic candidates statewide: Wes Moore for governor, Brooke Lierman for comptroller and Anthony Brown for attorney general.

The general election choice between gubernatorial candidates is a tough one, with Dan Cox as the Republican nominee. Backed by Donald Trump, Cox proposes censoring curricula, taking public money for public schools and giving it to private schools, and thwarting racial and social justice. Brown’s opponent has been called a white supremacist who is in no way qualified or trusted to advance the cause of racial and social justice for black and brown people disproportionately affected by the justice system or to help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. The November election will offer some of the clearest choices between state-level candidates Marylanders have seen in a long time — and the stakes will be high.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings make the 2022 state elections more important than ever to ensure students have a future with civil rights, human rights, and access to exceptional public schools that they all deserve. The MSEA will continue to rally its members and supporters to elect local and national candidates supportive of public education in the November general election.


Conditional teachers get a break; The Council of State waives certification deadlines

The Maryland State Board of Education (SBOE) voted on July 26 for a three-year waiver of regulations governing conditional teachers to help address some of the severe staffing shortages in the state. However, the extra time is not enough, SBOE teacher member Rachel McCusker and MSEA president Cheryl Bost told the board. They urged the board to ensure that conditional teachers receive proper mentoring and support in addition to the time needed to complete the certification requirements.

Maryland districts employed 3,567 conditionally certified teachers in the 2021-2022 school year, double the number employed five years ago. Several hundred of these desperately needed educators have not been able to fulfill all the requirements and teach at the same time.

Bost, local superintendents and state superintendent Mohammed Choudhury impress upon the board that staffing shortages have been exacerbated by the pandemic and that time constraints for conditional educators are compounding the problem. The SBOE voted to give local school districts the discretion to extend conditional certificates for up to two additional years for conditional teachers and resident teachers to meet requirements to remain in class.

AIB Selects 24 Educators to Serve in Blueprint Implementation Advisory Roles

The Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) tasked with overseeing the implementation of Maryland’s Blueprint for the Future had a pool of more than 200 candidates to serve in advisory roles on subcommittees aligned with four of the pillars of the Master Plan: early childhood education, high quality and diverse teachers. and leaders, college and career readiness, and resources to ensure all students succeed. At least five current or former members of the MSEA were among the 24 nominations to the committee. Jacob Bennett, a primary school teacher who recently won a primary race for a Harford County Council seat, and Rainya Miller, a National Board-certified teacher and founder, have been nominated for a two-year term on the committee of early childhood. and Managing Member of the Consortium of Accomplished Educators. Gina Hoover, an MSEA member and lead teacher in Washington County, was nominated for a one-year term.

On the High Quality Educators Committee, Linda Stuart, retired elementary school principal from Frederick County, will serve a one-year term and Patricia Twitty, lead teacher from Prince George’s County, will serve a two-term. year.

Maryland Joins Peers in Lowering Sales Tax; Economists predict a slowdown in boom times

Economists are watching declining sales tax revenue from states like Maryland as they consider future state budget pressures. Maryland saw the largest sales tax drop of any state in the year-over-year comparison to April 2021: 35.7%. Analysts weren’t surprised to see record pandemic sales slowing nationwide. Maryland is one of 26 states that saw a decline from a year earlier.

The new graduation requirement will be deferred to the 2023-2024 school year

The Maryland State Board of Education voted in June to delay the implementation of new regulations regarding the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program until the 2023-2024 school year. Superintendent Choudhury said schools need more time to change comprehensive assessments in algebra, language arts and science from a stand-alone assessment to an end-of-course assessment that will count for 20% of a grade final in the respective course. The SBOE voted last year to implement the regulations next year.

$3 Billion Federal Support Extends Pandemic Meal Program; USDA encourages nutritious meals

Federal funding during the pandemic that expanded school lunch service was set to expire in June, but Democrats in Congress successfully fought to expand the child nutrition waiver program, which not only helped overcome the problems supply chain, but also to remedy the food shortage that existed before. and persisted throughout the pandemic in areas of poverty. Congress has appropriated $3 billion to cover the cost of meals for all students through the summer and next school year.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching a $100 million Healthy Eating Incentive Program to support innovative school lunch programs and to address some supply chain issues resulting from the pandemic.

June casino revenue generates $50 million for education

Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported casino revenue of $68 million in June, including $49.7 million for education. The six casinos reported revenue of $163 million for the month.

The deadline for the use of ARP funds may be extended for certain approved projects

The U.S. Department of Education has informed school districts that for certain approved projects, it will consider requests to extend the deadline for using U.S. Bailout Pandemic Relief Funds that originally had a deadline of use or loss as of September 30, 2024.