Baltimore County Now
Appeal to Governor on Statehouse Steps to Release $68 Million for Maryland's Children
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, and Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice (representing Montgomery County Executive Isaiah “Ike” Leggett) on the steps of the State House this morning to call on Governor Larry Hogan to release $68 million in education funding that has been appropriated by the General Assembly.
'It is About Children'
“In Baltimore County, we believe deeply in fiscal responsibility. We are a county that has not raised the property tax in 27 years or the income tax in 23 years. We are one of only 38 counties in the nation with a triple A bond rating. We walk the walk when it comes to fiscal accountability, said Kamenetz. “But this action by the Governor has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility. The state is now projecting an end-of-year surplus of $519.7 million. Even after releasing these funds and increasing funding for state pensions, the state would still have nearly $400 million in surplus above the additional $814 in its own rainy day fund. This is not about fiscal responsibility. It is about children.”
“The money that the state withheld from our schools could have helped our children in so many ways – smaller classroom sizes, expanded after school opportunities, greater access to technology, additional summer programs, more arts and advanced academics,” said Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “It is time for the Governor to release this funding and demonstrate his commitment to invest in our children and our schools.”
"As elected officials, it is our responsibility to make sure that we keep the promise of public education," said Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. "Education must remain the path to opportunity and prosperity for all our students, regardless of their circumstances."
"There is nothing more important than in investing in our children's education," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. "The nearly $18 million we should receive under GCEI is critical."
Surplus Funds Can Supply Resources
“Earlier this year, Governor Hogan cut $20 million from Prince George’s County Public Schools. This is revenue our schools need to maintain and reduce class size, retain experienced and qualified teachers and adequately prepare our students to compete in the increasingly global economy,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “School system after school system has repeatedly demonstrated the hardship that will occur if the Governor does not provide these needed funds. It is inexplicable to us that the Hogan Administration would not use surplus funds to give our children and schools the resources they have relied on for nearly a decade. I am proud to lend my voice to the chorus of local and state officials as well as education and community leaders who are calling for the Governor to release this funding immediately. Anything less would be unfair to the children and families of Maryland.”
Intern, Baltimore County Office of Communications
More than 7,000 seniors will graduate from high schools in Baltimore County this year. 7,000 kids, like me, have to decide what they want to do the summer after graduation. Those questions range from “What weekend do I go to the beach?” to “What college will I go to?” and everything in between. It’s a tough time, but a fun one as well.
It all comes to a head; homework, spring sports, clubs, college applications, concerts and competitions, relationships with classmates, summer jobs, proms and graduation parties. And then, like the air out of a balloon, it all just sort of…ends.
That balloon metaphor works especially well when you consider how close adulthood actually is. Your time as a carefree high schooler feels like it’s escaping you, if it wasn’t for your last summer vacation.
Life begins to look a lot like a Kerouac novel. Long, lazy days at home, a book on the beach, road trips to nowhere (come September, those road trips will start to feel more like pilgrimages than excursions). At first, boredom isn’t a bad thing. It’s a welcome respite from years of stress. Getting into college is the number one thing on high schoolers’ minds for four years, possibly more. When the last day of school rolls around, it does feel like a relief. Four years of hard work has paid off, and you can enjoy some freedom before four more years of hard work at college.
For recent high-school graduates, thinking too much into the future leaves a little bit of sadness. It makes me feel that I’m not appreciating my time as a kid enough, that I’m letting some memories of summer as a high schooler slip away a little. But thinking too much about the present brings anxiety, too. Worrying about plans on a Friday night takes away from plans for college, and it makes me feel that I won’t be well enough prepared.
But I suppose the point of life is balancing those two things. In my opinion, life’s too short to not have fun. So I’ll work at Meadowood Park this summer, and I’ll spend money on fast food, and I’ll head down to the beach with friends. Because with four fun years behind me, and four more fun years ahead, it’s time to enjoy this time.
So if you’re one of those 7,000 high school graduates in Baltimore County this year, or your son or daughter is one, keep that in mind. Have fun, relax, spend a little money, and enjoy life. EnjoyBaltimoreCounty.com
Michelle Darling, Dawn Pipesh and Susan Oberfeld; Foster Parent Program
Baltimore County Department of Social Services
National Foster Care Month is in May and as such, it’s a perfect time to thank the many, dedicated families who care for our county’s foster children. It’s also a great opportunity to let others know about our ongoing need for foster parents.
At any given time in Baltimore County, between 500 and 600 children are in foster care. They range in age from infants to young adults up to age 21.
In addition to providing a safe and loving place to call home, foster families help a child’s healing process. With each foster child they take into their home, these families help end the cycle of abuse and neglect. They can be instrumental in helping a child to be the first in his or her family to finish high school or even go to college.
Are you interested in changing a child’s life and empowering their future? Can you offer safety, stability and nurturing to one of our County’s most vulnerable children? If so, our social workers are eager to work with you. We provide training and ongoing support throughout the home study process as well as afterwards, when a child is accepted into your home. Financial and medical assistance are also provided.
To become a resource parent, you must:
· Attend an information meeting
· Complete a registration and authorization for clearance forms
· Complete 30 hours of pre-service training
· Obtain your first aid and CPR certifications
· Complete the home study approval process
To be a resource parent, you need to:
· Have patience, flexibility and a commitment to children
· Be over age 21
· Be able to meet your family’s financial obligations
· Have room for a child
· Be in good physical and mental health
· Agree to have a background check, including criminal background
· Agree not to smoke around the foster child, including both in your home and in the car
Free, monthly informational sessions are available. For more information on becoming a foster parent:
· Call: 410-853-3170
· Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It could be the best thing you ever do – for yourself and for a child.