Summer 2024 | VOL. 3, ISSUE 3

President's Corner

Hello, school board colleagues!

Congratulations to all school board members on reaching another graduation season! Every graduation is a genuine milestone -- in no small part thanks to your diligent, dedicated efforts throughout each year.

This issue of The MABE Scoop brings you information on MABE Annual Conference 2024; news of current and pending grants; recently released new school nutrition guidelines from USDA; as well as recent headlines, staff news, and word on this year's "Excellence in Education Award" winner.

We're also glad to bring you new MABE member survey results on what our members view as the top 10 values of belonging to a pool through MABE Insurance Programs. We think you'll agree their perspectives illustrate well the sizable value of these programs for Maryland school systems.

As always, thank you for your continued hard work and commitment. I've learned so very much from my talented school board colleagues throughout our state during my time as a school board member -- and this busy year has surely been no exception.

With deep gratitude,

Michelle Corkadel (Anne Arundel County)

MABE President



Registration is Open!

At this year's gathering in Annapolis (Oct. 7-9), you can count on numerous challenging workshops and timely breakout sessions -- ranging from the Blueprint's College and Career Readiness pillar and how to reallocate funding for the Blueprint, to Artificial Intelligence, mental health for teachers and students, public-private construction partnerships and more -- including ample networking time, engaging keynotes, and even a surprise or two!

To receive MABE's Early Bird discount, be sure to register today.

MABE Board of Directors Officers made time at the NSBA Annual Conference's this past April to attend the gathering's Delegate Assembly, at which member states collectively review, discuss and approve amendments to the organization's constitution and bylaws.

Pictured L to R are MABE Treasurer Shebra Evans (Montgomery County); MABE President Michelle Corkadel (Anne Arundel County); MABE Secretary Diana Hawley (Cecil County); MABE President-Elect Karin Bailey (St. Mary's County); and MABE Executive Director Milt Nagel.


We love this inspiring video from Roye Williams Elementary School of Harford County Public Schools, featuring a HAPPY student body off to enjoy the Havre de Grace school's safe, festive new playground. MABE was glad to support the recent project through a MABE Insurance Pool grant. Check it out!

For further information about Pool grants, please contact MABE Risk Management Associate Director John Magoon.

Deadline reminder: August 30, 2024 is the grant application deadline for the Maryland State Department of Education's "Summer Enhancement or Extended Day/School Year and Summer Enhancement Programs" opportunity, part of MSDE's Public School Opportunities Enhancement Program (PSOEP).

Additional grant information, criteria, and details for a Customer Service Support Session scheduled for Thursday, July 11 at 11:00 am are available here.

As part of the FY25 State Budget, MABE received a $2,000,000 grant to continue work associated with assisting local school systems and county governments with establishing direct primary care health centers for school system and county government employees and families. By the end of FY24 four health centers will be operating in Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Wicomico and Washington Counties.

The FY25 grant is focused on Prince George's County, the most medically underserved jurisdiction in the State where these funds can have the greatest impact.

MABE continues our work with several other school systems throughout Maryland in our efforts to continue the expansion of this much-needed program. For further details, please contact MABE Executive Director Milt Nagel.

State-Funded School Safety Grants

The Maryland Center for School Safety is accepting applications through July 31, 2024 for its School Resource Officer (SRO) grant, a "non-competitive, State-funded grant program designed for local school systems and law enforcement agencies located within the State of Maryland." Its SRO Adequate Coverage Grant provides funding for SROs, adequate coverage and School Security Employees. Local school systems are encouraged to apply. The grant application is available on this page; additional details may be found here.

The FY25 Application Announcements for the Maryland-funded Safe Schools Fund Grant (SSFG) also were recently made; applications are being accepted through September 30, 2024.

Finally, as of June 26, 2024, the FY25 Application Announcement for the School Safety Grant Program (SSGP) is expected to be made shortly.

New School Meal Nutrition Guidelines in Effect Beginning July 1, 2024

New nutrition guidelines for school meals, originally announced by USDA in late April of this year, are scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2024. The Agriculture Department's new rule, which calls for less sugar and salt in meals, reflects concerns that had been raised in the guidelines' formative stage by school nutrition professionals who had referred to them as "unrealistic to enforce," and by dairy groups over what they referred to as a "push to limit milk."

The New York Times reported in late April that under the rule, "schools will need to limit the amount of added sugars in cereals and yogurts they serve beginning in the 2025-26 academic year, and gradually step up reductions in other foods.

The USDA's "Updates to the School Nutrition Standards" may be found here, and the USDA's related May 2022 Report to Congress ("Added Sugars in School Meals and Competitive Foods") can be accessed here. The related New York Times feature is available here (subscription may be required).


MABE Workers Compensation Fund and Group Insurance Pool Members Have Spoken!

In the last issue of The MABE Scoop we shared an overview of pooling. We explained what pools are, and how they benefit MABE members. But don't just take our word for it. Feedback from our recently surveyed members on what they view as the top 10 values* of belonging to a pool through MABE Insurance Programs really helps illustrate their inherent value! We're glad to share their perspective with you here:

#1: MABE's Group Insurance Pool reflects MABE members' interests because it is governed by the members we serve.

#2: Due to our keen understanding of Board operations, MABE Insurance Pool members receive coverage that is specific and adaptable to the needs of Maryland school systems.

#3: Members maintain coverage and do not risk being canceled -- even if they become less profitable.

#4: The cost of coverage is less than the commercial market because we are member owned, not profit oriented. We also pay no broker commissions, and we return annual savings to members through dividends, grants and increased services tailored to our members' needs.

#5: We have dedicated adjusters who only handle claims for MABE Insurance Program members.

#6: Our Association offers other ancillary services that benefit our members, such as Student Accident Insurance, the Time to Care Act Cooperative, the MABE Near Site Health Center Program, Board Member Training, Superintendent Searches and Legislative Advocacy.

#7: Members have the ability to implement coverage in the event of extreme or unusual circumstances.

#8: We assist members in managing risks to help them reduce claims.

#9: We provide facilitation of peer groups in multiple disciplines for all 24 Maryland school systems, to discuss unique solutions to common problems which enhances operations for all.

#10: Finances of the pool are handled prudently with complete member transparency.

For further details regarding MABE Insurance Programs please feel free to contact me at any time!

*The first two values listed above were the highest for MABE members, after which the values are not listed in any particular order.


MABE Honors Laura Mitchell, M.B.A., with 2024 Excellence

in Education Award

MABE recently announced Montgomery County's Laura Mitchell, M.B.A., has earned its biennial Excellence in Education Award, in recognition of her outstanding dedication to educating communities about mental health crises and substance abuse hazards.

Through Laura's participation in influential councils like the Montgomery County Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction Advisory Council (AODAAC), Laura advocates strongly for prevention, equitable access to treatment, and recovery supports.

Award nominators emphasized how Laura's longtime efforts on this front have significantly impacted the community. Her exceptional contributions, unwavering dedication and innovative approaches collectively serve as a source of inspiration to educators and communities alike. MABE plans to present its Excellence in Education Award to Laura during MABE Annual Conference 2024.

Kudos to (Soon-To-Be-Retired!) MABE Risk Management Officer John Magoon

John Magoon, MABE Risk Management Officer for the past 20 years, recently shared he will be retiring this fall. John first joined MABE in 2004, and since then has focused on risk management services for the members of MABE, focusing on those school systems that are members of MABE's insurance programs.

John's gain of a well-earned retirement is MABE's loss, and we wish him nothing but the best as he transitions to the next chapter in his life. His problem-solving abilities, analytical skills, innate creativity, passion for the industry, and genuinely kind demeanor will be sorely missed. You can reach John at (443) 603-0399 if you'd like to join us in wishing him well.

John was good enough to provide a few thoughts during his final full-time weeks at MABE, which we're glad to share with MABE Scoop readers.

Q: John, why did you originally decide to join MABE?

A: MABE was one of the property insurance accounts I managed with my prior employer, Royal & Sun Alliance. When they decided to exit the United States Insurance market, I needed a new position and was fortunate to already know Steve James and MABE. Being a product of Maryland public schools myself and having a daughter entering public school at the time, I felt I could have a positive impact on public education. I learned early on that through pooling and effective risk management we can "shift school assets from buying insurance to educating children," and I still feel strongly about that today.

Q: What would you say the most rewarding part of your work with MABE has been?

A: I'd say working with and personally getting to know so many dedicated people who support public education. Every year more and more demands are placed on the staff who operate public schools, and economic supports often don't keep pace. I hope that sharing my risk management experience, the uncertainty about risk, and what drives insurance costs has helped our member Boards of Education.

Q: Is there a particular achievement that really stands out for you from your time at MABE?

A: A couple of things -- I'm proud to be part of such a relatively small organization which really focuses on its members, and works together as a team to develop meaningful resources. The stability of MABE over the years speaks highly of how well managed MABE is. In terms of what I consider a core achievement, I'd say developing useful resources for members -- including incentive and grant programs as well as loss analysis tools, promoting risk management committees, and setting goals, since I believe that "nothing moves unless it's measured."

Q: If you have one piece of advice for readers based on your expertise and experience at MABE, what would that be?

A: Be open-minded to new solutions and work together as a team. Know your goals, communicate, and be intentional. I often say we're looking for "unique solutions to common problems," and I feel that working together we really can find those unique solutions!

In Memoriam: B. Marie Byers (1935-2024)

MABE mourns the sad loss of B. Marie Byers, lifelong educator, former MABE President (1990-1991), and a 30+-year member of the Washington County Board of Education. Marie passed away peacefully this past spring in Chambersburg, PA, following her husband, Jack's, passing two years prior. She is survived by her three children, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Her family moved shortly after her birth from New Jersey to Hagerstown, MD. Following Marie's 1952 graduation from Hagerstown High School, she graduated from Towson State Teachers College (now Towson University) three years later with a bachelor's in education. Marie would go on to work as an elementary school educator.

In addition to her later work with MABE and the Washington County Board of Education, she served as Northeast Regional Director of NSBA, and was appointed by Congress to the National Education Commission on Time and Learning. She was quite active in numerous volunteer organizations, ranging from Hagerstown Goodwill Industries and the Washington County Free Library, to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Washington County Youth Golf Association, and Hagerstown Junior College. Her deep commitment to education in Washington County also was well illustrated by her 10-year volunteer executive directorship of The Discovery Station, an intergenerational history, science and technology museum in downtown Hagerstown which she helped found.

Marie's family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to charitable organizations such as Haven Lutheran Church, Discovery Station, Doey's House, or Menno Haven.


Note: Some publications may require subscriptions.

WTOP (6/17)

Montgomery Co. public schools announce new superintendent

WBOC (6/19)

Dr. Ava Tasker-Mitchell appointed superintendent of Somerset County Public Schools

Kent County News (6/11)

McComas to be next superintendent

WJZ News (6/12)

Baltimore City schools give CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises a 1-year contract extension

Baltimore Sun (5/1)

Editorial: A teachable moment for Maryland's new school superintendent

WTOP (5/7)

Superintendent Carey Wright interviewed about newly formed accountability task force

Capital News Service (6/13)

Will Maryland's Blueprint for education work? An oversight board and district officials will be watching.

CSPAN 2 (6/20)

William Kirwan Congressional testimony on Blueprint for Maryland's Future

Capital News Service (6/17)

Blueprint or budget-breaker? No one knows how to pay for Maryland's massive education reform

Maryland Matters (5/12)

Three BIG ways to strengthen the Blueprint

Baltimore Sun (6/24)

Maryland's Blueprint reform plan is pouring billions into education. So why are schools facing budget cuts?

Capital Gazette (5/2)

Maryland State Board of Education limits dual enrollment courses

Carroll County Times (6/13)

Black students in Carroll County have the highest math proficiency rates in the state

Herald-Mail (6/10)

Maryland ranks 22nd in national education report. A dive into numbers.

C-SPAN2 (5/8)

Montgomery County Board of Education President Karla Silvestre's opening statement at 5/8 Congressional hearing on antisemitism in public schools

WJZ News at 5 (6/17)

Update on progress made over past year from Baltimore County Superintendent Myriam Rodgers

WUSA (5/1)

PGCPS has the most green schools in Maryland

WMDT (5/6)

Worcester County Public Schools and Salisbury University partnering to advance educational initiatives to increase new teacher readiness

Union-Bulletin / Baltimore Sun (6/19)

Carroll County School Board discusses generative AI for teachers and students

Washington Post (6/28)

Health panel urges interventions for children and teens with high BMI

Ed Tech Magazine (4/24)

How to fund school safety upgrades

K-12 administrators and technology leaders can find the funding for physical security solutions through state and federal grants.

PBS News Hour (6/13)

Parents and educators weigh in on school safety as more states arm teachers on campus

WMDT (5/8)

Wicomico County Superintendent says top issues facing school system are school climate and student discipline at Wicomico County's annual State of the Schools Luncheon

Fox 5 (5/29)

More than $16M in rebates for clean busses and school busses across Maryland as part of Administration's Investing in America Agenda

Washington Post (6/3)

Billions in taxpayer dollars now go to religious schools via vouchers

Diverse Education (6/20)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness could soon include all early childhood education workers

Christian Science Monitor (6/5)

A 'perfect storm' could change America's public schools for years to come

NPR (6/10)

Funding cliff facing public schools when they return to class in the fall as ESSER funds ending

Washington Post (6/28)

Health panel urges interventions for children and teens with high BMI

New York Times (6/17)

A school with 7 students: Inside the 'Microschools' Movement

Education Week (6/12)

Judge strikes down Title IX guidance on LGBTQ+ students. Here's why it matters.

USA Today (6/5)

Special education clash at Supreme Court: Why one dad is asking to record school meetings

CBS Mornings (6/20)

Louisiana requiring all of state's public schools to post the Ten Commandments

Deadline: Legal Blog (6/20)

Louisiana's Ten Commandments school law could test the Roberts Court

CBS Mornings (5/17)

70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education: A look back on what has and hasn't changed

CNN (6/19)

Arizona is sending taxpayer money to religious schools -- and billionaires see it as a model for the US

Iowa Capital Dispatch (5/4)

Inside a rural Iowa school district's fight to save public education

GovTech (5/13)

School districts fear AI could enable new cyber threats

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