Politics and Education (Demo)

Governor O’Malley spars with Gov. Rick Perry on CNN’s Crossfire, Prince George’s County Council takes straw vote behind closed doors to preapprove paying off Dimensions Healthcare Systems‘ debts, Prince George’s County Teachers to receive 2% cost of living pay raise, and Greenbelt is home to 5 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists

 
 
 
 
Rick Perry Mortons SteakhouseGovernor Rick Perry continued his preemptive resume building activities by stopping through Accokeek, MD’s Beretta USA gun manufacturing company (story here).  Both Perry and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley plan on vying for candidacy in the 2016 presidential election so this horse and pony show they put for CNN’s Crossfire is of no interest to me.  What is of interest to me is how Texas Gov. Rick could tour a gun company two days after the Sept. 16th Navy Yard shooting where 12 people were killed, not including the shooter.  His response? “Listen, there’s always anti-gun individuals,” Perry responded, asked about the criticism after meeting with business leaders and top Maryland Republicans at Morton’s steakhouse in Bethesda, in suburban Maryland. “The fact is, I’m a pro-Second Amendment guy. Texas is a pro-Second Amendment state. Beretta has been a great manufacture in Maryland and they feel not only under-appreciated, they feel under attack.”  Now you all know that I’m no huge O’Malley supporter; he’s too liberal for me.  But O’Malley is in no way this stupid; you have to be STUPID to make this kind of a statement after such a horrific tragedy.  So Rick, take your minimum wage job lovin, high tax havin’, fudged facts fixin behind back to Texas before you forget your next line.
 
Dimensions HealthcareFrom the Washington Post, “The Prince George’s County Council is expected to approve spending millions of dollars to help cover Dimensions Healthcare System’s debt, as the company seeks to convince state regulators that its plans to build a $645 million regional hospital are financially sound. The council is scheduled to take a final vote Oct. 1 on the plan, which would allocate $5 million annually, for at least five years, to cover interest payments for Dimensions’ bonds. The vote would come a few days before Dimensions must submit its application to the state for the new hospital. The council signaled unanimous support for the plan in a straw vote Tuesday after discussing it last week in a closed-door session with top aides to County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D).
 
Graduation CapGreenbelt is home to 5 semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program.  Yay!  Congratulations to Eleanor Roosevelt High School students Katherine T. Monroe, Vishnutheja S. Rachakonda, Abram M. Shaw, Maia J. Tooley and Joycer Yang.  These standout students were among 16,000 high school seniors nationwide to be named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship ProgramThe Gazette reported, Roosevelt was the only high school in Prince George’s County to have student semifinalists, according to a news release listing winners provided by the National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Program will award 8,000 finalists with scholarships amounting to $35 million in the spring of 2014. Semifinalists are selected based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in their junior year. Semifinalist status is awarded to the students from each state who scored the highest on the exam and is proportional to the state’s percentage total of graduating seniors, according to the release.
 
schoolhousePrince George’s County teachers will receive a 2 percent cost-of-living pay adjustment, retroactive to July 1, as part of a three-year contract approved by the Board of Education. The Prince George’s County Educators’ Association, which represents 9,200 teachers, ratified the contract after the board’s vote last week.  The average salary for a new incoming teacher is about $44-49k so that 2% increase takes them up to $52-$58k.  In a county where the median income is $72k, our teachers should make more.  That’s just my humble opinion.
The Washington Post quotes Kenneth Haines, head of the teachers union, as saying he hopes the deal helps the county retain quality teachers. “Hopefully, this negotiated agreement will dissuade some teachers from departing for neighboring jurisdictions or leaving the profession entirely,” Haines said.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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