Tom Pelton: Don't Trump the Chesapeake Bay's progress

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay is critical not only to the geographical and cultural heart of Maryland but also to the idea of environmental restoration around the world. If the wealthiest and most powerful nation on Earth won't restore a waterway that shines on the doorstep of its own capital, what chance do other waters have? (Balt. Sun)

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Del. Nic Kipke: Hogan's ideas on education deserve support

Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed thoughtful education reforms that will help all of Maryland's students and close the achievement gap. But if you listen to the vitriolic hyperbole coming from some partisan circles, you would think he was on a mission to turn over education to some monstrous private corporate entity and put thousands of teachers out of work. It's incredibly disappointing, albeit not very surprising, that some would give priority to political propaganda rather than to providing a quality education to all of Maryland's students. (Capital)

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Next steps for HopkinsLocal

In the nearly two years since the post-Freddie Gray riots, efforts to address Baltimore's legacy of inequality and injustice have sprouted across the city in ways large and small. But will it make a real and tangible difference in the lives of people who live in neighborhoods like Sandtown-Winchester? Can we really make a dent in the city's concentrated, entrenched poverty? The initial report on HopkinsLocal, an effort by Johns Hopkins University and Health System to use their economic clout to increase opportunities for Baltimoreans who need them, gives some reason for optimism. (Balt. Sun)

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Kristina Gaddy: Bill could preserve fertility in cancer patients

Almost seven years after my leukemia diagnosis at age 23, side effects from the chemotherapy that saved my life mean I likely won't bear children. I wasn't given an option to preserve my fertility, but even if I had been, the decision would have come with a huge price tag. Insurance companies are not required to cover the cost of fertility preservation for teen-age and young adult cancer patients. There is now hope for the 3,100 young Marylanders who are diagnosed with cancer each year, however, thanks to two bills introduced by State Sen. James M. Mathis Jr. and Del. Cory V. McCray. (Balt. Sun)

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March 14 // Laslo Boyd: Meanwhile, back in Maryland…

Even though the Master of Mar-a-Lago continues to provide endless material for commentary, a decent regard for mental health suggests the importance of looking away from time to time. Thinking about Paul Ryan and the machinations of House Republicans with respect to health care policy really isn’t much of a respite either. The current draft of RyanCare working its way through the lower chamber seems more like their 50 plus earlier efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act than a serious effort at policy making. (fromacertainpointofview.org)

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City schools are no 'absolute disaster'

The progress Mayor Catherine Pugh announced last week in crafting a plan to soften the impact of Baltimore City schools' projected $130 million deficit was heartening to parents, students and teachers. Gov. Larry Hogan's comments on the matter to date have been less so. Legislators, led by Del. Maggie McIntosh, the Baltimore Democrat who chairs the Appropriations Committee, have identified some sources of funding to cover part of the expected shortfall in the next fiscal year, but even that will require at least some level of cooperation from the governor. And the situation requires more than cooperation from Mr. Hogan. (Balt. Sun)

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Chester E. Finn Jr.: Putting the needs of Maryland children first

Will Maryland ever place the educational needs of its neediest children above the interests of its middle-class adults? History — and recent events — suggest that the answer is no, barring a fundamental change in the stance of policy makers and those who influence them. While public education in Maryland assuredly has bright spots and success stories, it's failing far too many of the state's children, with just 23 percent of 8th grade African-American students in Maryland "on track" toward college readiness in language arts according to the 2016 PARCC assessments and only 11 percent in math. That's because far too many young Marylanders are trapped in dreadful schools. (Balt. Sun)

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Collins: “Trust Act” means flouting immigration law

Many communities in Maryland are openly flouting federal laws regarding immigration by establishing themselves as “sanctuary cities,” and, by doing so; they are creating a troublesome precedent. These “sanctuary cities” often prohibit their police from notifying federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they have detained an illegal immigrant. They encourage local police not to turn over illegal immigrants in their custody to federal officials because they might start deportation proceedings against them. The stated purpose of these policies is to make illegal immigrants feel safe and welcome.  That they thwart the enforcement of duly enacted federal immigration laws—and that immigration policy is the exclusive bailiwick of the federal government—doesn’t enter into the mix. (Md. Reporter)

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