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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Local Legislation

The Board of Education voted to support three local bills: MC 7-11, 10-11, and 11-11. A public hearing for these bills will be held on December 6th, at 7 PM. It will take place in the 3rd Floor Hearing Room of the Stella Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

Here's some clarification on these bills:

This bill would give the Montgomery County SMOB full voting rights (except negative personnel). I want as many students as possible to lobby the General Assembly for the passing of this bill, and to show up at the hearing. This will show that we care, and help us finally achieve (almost) full voting rights!

This bill would repeal the prohibition on bus fees in Montgomery County. However, there are a few issues regarding this bill that need to be addressed. This bill is NOT instituting bus fees. The Board of Education has NO plans on the table or in the pipeline to institute bus fees. This bill simply puts Montgomery County on level footing with the other counties in Maryland by repealing the prohibition on bus fees. In Maryland, 23 out of 24 counties currently do not prohibit bus fees.

This bill would create a unified process for the construction, remodeling, and placement of MCPS buildings. It would give only Montgomery County government the authority to issue permits and enforce regulations and codes, benefiting MCPS immensely.

I encourage youth to please come to observe or testify on December 6th! You can sign up here, call 410-841-3010/301-858-3010, or email Thanks!

Fall Update!

It's been more than a month since my last post, and I apologize for taking so long - it's been a busy couple of weeks!

Here's an idea of what's happened so far:

- On October 6th, the Board of Education met with the MCAAP (Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals) and discussed several issues, including the change to state law regarding evaluation systems and the FY 2012 budget.

- On October 6th, I also met with the MCJC Executive Board and discussed the MCAAP meeting. On the 7th, I met with the MCR Executive Board.

- The Board of Education met on October 12th. At this meeting, we approved the Comprehensive Master Plan and discussed Wellness in MCPS, specifically the 12-week health and fitness competition called MCPS on the Move, a program between MCPS and Kaiser Permanente. We also discussed the nutrition of school lunches.

- The Board of Education's 14th Annual Distinguished Service to Education Awards Ceremony was held on October 21st. Congratulations to all of our amazing recipients! They have truly made outstanding contributions to public education and children in Montgomery County.

- The Board of Education held another meeting on October 25th. During this meeting, we took action on the sale of the former site of Robert E. Peary HS. In addition, staff updated the Board on a pilot program: Student Instructional Program Planning and Implementation (SIPPI).

- On October 27th, the Board of Education met with MCCPTA (Montgomery County COuncil of Parent Teacher Associations) leadership and discussed community engagement and communication.

- On October 13th and 28th, the Board of Education held two Community Roundtable events. They were a huge success!

- On October 29th, I attended the MCJC General Assembly at Eastern MS. It was a pleasure to return to my old middle school and talk to students from around the county, and I enjoyed the experience very much. I also attended the MCR General Assembly at Blair HS on November 4th. On November 8th I attended the MCJC Executive Board meeting, and on the 9th I attended the MCR Executive Board meeting.

- The Board of Education met on November 9th and voted on the 2011-2012 school calendar and approved several pilot courses. In addition, staff updated the Board on the K-12 Mathematics Work Group. Finally, the Board of Education voted on its Legislative Platform. We voted unanimously to support SMOB voting rights, and the Board also voted to support MC 7-11, the local bill sponsored by Delegates Kaiser and Hucker that would give the SMOB full voting rights (except negative personnel).

- On November 10th, I attended a meeting with the Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth. This meeting was an open forum discussion among youth about stress, with many adults acting as observers. The event was a huge success and I encourage youth to attend next year.

- The Board of Education held two Facilities Hearings on November 10th and 11th, and the community came out in full force to provide testimony. Decisions on boundaries were made on November 18th. A short summary can be found here.

- On November 16th, the Policy Committee held its first meeting of the year. We discussed Policy IED, regarding Framework and Structure of High School Education. In addition, we discussed Policy JEE, regarding Student Transfers.

- The Board of Education also met with the Montgomery County Delegation on November 16th. Though some legislators were unable to attend, the meeting was still very important. The Board discussed Maintenance of Effort, the budget, and local bills that it endorsed (MC 10-11 and MC 11-11).

- I met with the SMOB Council for the second time on November 17th. At this meeting, we planned outreach with high school newspapers and testimony for educational legislation such as SMOB voting rights.

That's all for now!