HOGAN SHUNS STATE SCHOOL PLAN: Gov. Larry Hogan is refusing to endorse the Maryland school board’s plan for helping low-performing schools, saying state board members were hamstrung by a new law limiting what the plan can include, Liz Bowie and Pamela Wood of the Sun report. The General Assembly passed legislation this year that limits ways the state can try to reform its lowest-performing schools — those in the bottom 5%. The Republican governor vetoed that bill, but the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode him
State officials will soon send the schools-accountability plan to the U.S. Department of Education to prove compliance with new requirements for federal K-12 funding. The department’s approval of the plan is not contingent upon the governor’s signature, writes Josh Hicks for the Post.
“I think he is clearly sending a message to (federal Secretary of Education) Betsy DeVos to reject Maryland’s plan,” said Del. Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery County and sponsor of the House version of the Protect Our Schools Act. “It puts $250 million at risk.” This appears in Bryan Sears’ story for the Daily Record.
In letters to the state board, Rachel Baye reports for WYPR-FM, Hogan said student achievement should carry more weight in assessing schools, and he objected to how the state plans to intervene when a school is identified as failing.
McAULIFFE REACTS TO HOGAN METRO PLAN: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Thursday that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal for funding Metro falls short of a long-term fix for the transit agency’s financial difficulties, but he left open the possibility that the plan could serve as the basis for an interim solution, Robert McCartney of the Post reports. In a letter to Hogan, McAuliffe joined D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser in faulting the plan because it does not provide for a new tax or other permanent, dedicated revenue source for Metro.
UM ENVIRO CENTER CHANGES CHIEFS: When Donald Boesch came to Maryland 27 years ago, the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort was struggling to make real progress. The research institution he’d come to lead faced challenges, too, just to survive intact, writes the Bay Journal’s Tim Wheeler. Now, as Boesch prepares to step down this month as president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the Bay’s health appears to be improving, though it’s far from saved. And his institution has not only survived, but generated a growing body of research that’s helped guide the recovery.