Keeping You Current on Education
Reform in Maryland
|August 4, 2000
||Vol. 11, No. 10
a Budget Priority
The strategic academic plan "Every Child Achieving" heads the
list of priorities of unfunded project requests in the preliminary Maryland State
Department of Education FY 2002 budget that was presented to the State Board in July.
MSDE will be seeking $102.9 million for non-mandated projects, about two percent of the
department's FY2002 budget. About 98 percent of the proposed $3.6 billion budget is
mandated by law.
"We have identified 10 priorities we believe are working in tandem with Board
priorities," said State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick.
At its August meeting, the Board will vote to determine whether it wants to maintain those
priorities or substitute others. The requests decided upon will be forwarded to the
Department of Budget and Management.
The bulk of the unfunded projects request-$92.5 million-is being sought to fully fund the
"Every Child Achieving" plan the Board adopted last fall. That plan is targeted
to give additional help to students at all levels who fall behind their peers
academically. Full implementation of the plan would support the High School Assessments,
which must be passed by students entering ninth grade in Fall 2003 to earn a high school
MSDE is seeking $38 million for academic intervention; $37 million to strengthen the
professional workforce through programs including the recruitment and mentoring of
teachers and principals; $8 million for the state's education accountability program; and
$8 million for expansion of the Judith Hoyer Early Child Care programs. Another $712,000
is being directed toward programs addressing student behavior.
Funds also are being requested to expand information access to the public via the
Internet; for correctional education; to enhance services of the Department of
Rehabilitation Services; for fine arts; and to fund a full-time assistant executive
director position for the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (which
oversees competitive high school athletic programs).
The Board additionally asked Dr. Grasmick to prepare estimates on the cost of having a
mentor assigned to every inexperienced teacher in the state.
Teachers Talk Tech At Annual Academy
More than 100 Maryland educators, primarily teachers and school library media specialists,
headed back to class - as students - for a three-week long leadership institute that began
Participants (called "fellows") representing 22 school systems throughout the
state chose to spend part of their vacation at the second Maryland Technology Academy
Summer Leadership Institute. The academy offers an opportunity to learn effective use of
technology in instruction. Graduates become technology leaders at their schools.
"It is not enough simply to put computers in our schools, even at the rapid rate we
are progressing," said State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick. "The
students sitting in front of the computers must receive the highest level of instruction
available. The academy is an important factor in ensuring that graduates from our school
systems are prepared for the technological world that awaits them."
Institute instructors are drawn from Towson University, Johns Hopkins University, the
Maryland State Department of Education and local school systems.
The institute is a collaborative effort among MSDE, Johns Hopkins University Center for
Technology in Education and Towson University College of Education. It was established by
the General Assembly with state funds and a federal Technology Innovation Challenge Grant.
Fellows attend five follow-up sessions during the school year to report on progress in
integrating technology into instruction.
Unfunded Budget Priorities
Every Child Achieving
* Improved instructional capacity: intervention and gifted and talented initiatives ($38.5
* Education accountability program ($8.1 million)
* Strengthen professional workforce ($37.3 million)
* Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Education Enhancement Program ($8 million)
* Student support: behavioral intervention ($712,000)
* Electronic government projects ($4.6 million)
* Correctional education enhancement ($2.6 million)
* DORS enhanced capacity ($1.8 million)
* Fine arts (1.3 million)
* MPSSAA assistant executive director ($58,000)
Sondheim, 92, Again President
State Board Re-Elects Benzil as Vice President
The Maryland State Board of Education turned to one of the most prominent names in the
history of state education at its July 25 meeting by electing Walter Sondheim Jr. board
president. It was a surprising move, especially to Sondheim, who was celebrating his 92nd
birthday on the day of the meeting.
Philip S. Benzil, who has served as vice president since February, was re-elected to that
office by unanimous vote.
Sondheim has indicated he accepted the post on a temporary basis because board members
were deadlocked in selecting a president. He said he will step aside when the board is
prepared to settle the issue.
A decade ago, Sondheim headed the commission that began school reform in Maryland. He had
voluntarily stepped down as board president on February 1, but remained on the board. He
was re-elected to the position by unanimous vote.
Sondheim replaces the person who took his place as president, Edward Andrews, whose second
four-year term on the board expired on June 30. State law requires new officers to be
elected annually in July.
The July board meeting was the first meeting for new board members Walter S. Levin, an
attorney from Randallstown, and Aaron Merki, a rising senior at McDonough High School in
Waldorf. Levin replaced Andrews. Merki is the new student member, serving a one-year term.
Sondheim has chaired or served on numerous boards and commissions, advising governors and
mayors for decades.
Benzil is a retired dentist from Westminster. He has been a lifelong community and
Teacher Incentives On MSDE Website
Maryland has actively worked over the past two years to provide incentives to attract new
teachers to its 24 local school systems and to retain the services of outstanding veteran
teachers. The State Department of Education is intent on making sure all educators have
easy access to these varied programs.
Numerous key pieces of legislation affecting educators personally and professionally were
passed by the General Assembly in its 1999 and 2000 sessions.
A comprehensive list of these incentives, and instructions to obtain more detailed
information, are now available on the Maryland State Department of Education website at www.msde.state.md.us.
McDonald's Makes MSDE Smile
Intent on reaching Maryland families in every innovative means possible, the State
Department of Education announced in July a new partnership with McDonald's Family
Restaurants of Baltimore City and the Eastern Shore.
More than three years ago, Maryland became the first state to join the U.S. Department of
Education's "Partnership for Family Involvement." The first-ever McDonald's
Family Friendly Schools Grant will enhance that effort by targeting middle school students
and their families through creative approaches. This may involve putting information on
trayliners in area restaurants or teaming with other McDonald's communications venues.
"We are very excited about this," said Maryland State Superintendent of Schools
Nancy S. Grasmick. "We believe McDonald's is a place families gather around the
U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Mario Merino, speaking before the State
Board of Education, praised the partnership and the efforts of MSDE's Darla Strouse in
helping it get established.
"Thirty years of research has shown us that when families get involved, students do
better," he said. "They stay in school and they go on to higher education."
MSDE: New Division, New Employees
The Department of Education added 31 new employees between April and June, including two
assistant state superintendents. MSDE also has a new division.
Tina Bjarekull is the new Assistant State Superintendent for Business Services, replacing
Tom Lee. Responsible for the department's financial and administrative programs, she came
to MSDE from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
Mary Cary was named Assistant State Superintendent for the new Division of Professional
Development. The former principal of the Carver Center for Arts and Technology High School
will head a division that will work with local schools systems in strengthening the
workforce of principals and teachers around the state.
School & Community Outreach Office
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Web site: www.msde.state.md.us
Assistant State Superintendent