U.S. House Panel Advances Sweeping Effort to Reduce Higher Ed Costs

A U.S. House committee passed legislation on Thursday that supporters hailed as a “down payment” on a long-sought liberal goal: free college education for all. The sweeping measure from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, aims to help more Americans of all backgrounds obtain high-quality college degrees by increasing affordability, accountability and accessibility in higher education. (Md. Matters)

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'Frankly, devastating’: Maryland reading scores decline on national assessment

Maryland students’ reading scores on a key national exam declined this year, new data shows, mirroring a troubling trend apparent in dozens of states. The drop comes as the state’s education advocates are gearing up for a major legislative battle over how schools are funded. The latest test scores, they say, are proof Maryland must take dramatic action to revamp its education system or watch its students fall further behind. (Balt. Sun)

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Hogan Declines to Address Kirwan Commission, Tensions Simmer

Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. won’t accept an invitation to address a state commission proposing far-reaching education reforms. William E. “Brit” Kirwan sent a letter to Hogan late last week inviting the governor to address the full commission “to find common ground” on the policy recommendations and a new education funding formula to pay for them. Hogan declined to meet with the group Wednesday through a letter from Budget Secretary David R. Brinkley, the governor’s appointee to the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. (Md. Matters)

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Montgomery County Hires Ulman To Cultivate Higher Ed Opportunities

Former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is known for his work with the University of Maryland, which hired him in 2014 to boost economic development in College Park. Now, Montgomery County officials are hiring Ulman for a different task — luring the University System of Maryland and its flagship campus at College Park. “We’ve had a lot of conversations with folks in the county about the desire to drive more higher education investment,” Ulman said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Essentially, you have Montgomery County — an engine of innovation, a strong business community, but lacking a traditional four-year university.” (Bethesda)

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The Takeaway: Former educator starts parent coaching business

With multiple degrees in education, Cindy Shuster thought she was well equipped to handle being a parent. But while raising three boys, Shuster realized just how difficult parenting can be and became passionate about finding advice and resources to make it easier. Last year, she launched Partner in Parenting to offer her services as a certified parent coach. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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E-scooters on college campuses look like they have a bumpy road ahead

Electric scooters are making their way onto college campuses across the country. But with this new alternative transportation method comes e-scooter-related accidents that campus officials expect to rise. The University of Maryland welcomed an electric fleet at the beginning of this academic year with the company VeoRide. They introduced 70 e-scooters with specific drop-off locations scattered around the campus. (Daily Record)

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Montgomery Co. schools urged to excuse absences for protests

Students who want to attend protests and rallies get excused absences in D.C. and in the Virginia counties of Fairfax and Arlington. And some elected leaders in Maryland want the same for kids in Montgomery County Public Schools. “We hope they’ll study it. We hope they’ll evaluate this,” said Del. Vaughn Stewart of Montgomery County. Vaughn is among 18 state and local leaders who signed a letter appealing to the Board of Education to consider excused absences for students who want to participate in civic engagement.
 (WTOP)

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FCPS budget challenge gives students real-world preparation

Graduates from Frederick County Public Schools will not only leave with a diploma but also a sense of how to manage their finances. FCPS requires all high school students to take a financial literacy course before graduating and almost all those courses include an exercise called the “Budget Challenge,” which puts students through a 10-week financial simulation. (News-Post)

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