Councilmember Mike Knapp to Unveil Bills To Create Scholarship, Teacher Programs
On Monday, Feb. 23, at Universities at Shady Grove, Innovative Programs Will Be Detailed That Would Work in Conjunction With Spirit of Nation’s Need for Stimulus
Councilmember Ervin, UMS Chancellor Kirwan, MCPS Superintendent Weast, USG Executive Director Stewart Edelstein Will Join Announcement
ROCKVILLE, Md., February 20, 2009—Montgomery County Councilmember Michael Knapp at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 23, at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville will unveil details of two innovative bills he will introduce that will provide college scholarships and invest in teacher training, consistent with the nation’s need for economic stimulus. Councilmember Knapp said these programs represent an investment in the true foundation of the economy: the workforce both now and in the future.
Councilmember Valerie Ervin, chair of the Council’s Education Committee; William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University of Maryland System; Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jerry Weast; Universities at Shady Grove Executive Director Stewart Edelstein; Gigi Godwin of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce; and Hugh Bailey of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development will be among those at the event to be held in front of the Camille Kendall Academic Center (Building III) at the Universities at Shady Grove.
One of the programs, which will be introduced before the County Council on Tuesday, Feb. 24, will be for students in programs leading to employment in “areas of need.” The other programs will invest in teacher training and education programs.
Both bills reflect the findings and recommendations of a national report, Rising Above The Gathering Storm, which was developed by the National Academy of Sciences, with the help of some of the nation’s most far-thinking scientists, engineers, academics and business leaders. The report was a driving factor behind many of the recommendations of the federal stimulus package approved last week by Congress.
“Signing this law into effect is only the beginning of the process, not the end,” said Councilmember Knapp, who chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee and who is a member of the Education Committee. “The real work starts here at the local level. The federal government doesn’t hire teachers or teach students to be nurses or child care providers or engineers. We do.”
The area of needs scholarship would provide four-year scholarships for Montgomery County students who pursue a line of study that meets one of the top 10 high-demand occupations in the County. Those occupations would be determined by the Montgomery Department of Economic Development. After graduating, recipients must agree to work in Montgomery County, in their area of study, for at least four years. At full capacity, the program would provide scholarships for 50 students at each college grade level.
The teacher education and training programs would provide matching grants to regional (or state) one- to two-week summer institutes to update the skills and state-of-the-art knowledge of practicing teachers. The material covered would allow teachers to keep current with recent developments in science, math and technology, and allow for the exchange of best teaching practices.
The program also would provide grants to research universities in Montgomery County (which may include the nine universities housed at the Universities at Shady Grove campus) to offer to current middle- and high school science, math and technology teachers two-year, part-time master’s degree programs that focus on rigorous science and math content and pedagogy. The programs would provide incentives to train Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate IB (or pre-AP or pre-IB) instructors to teach advanced courses in science and mathematics in the form of $1,500 per year payments per teacher. Teachers also would receive $100 for each of their students who pass an AP or IB in math or science.
“Last month I wrote to our State delegation urging the members to support efforts like this—initiatives that invest in people, not just bricks and mortar,” said Councilmember Knapp. “To that end, I know there is a lot of talk about stimulus funds being used only for “shovel ready” projects. What is more shovel ready than the mind, the curiosity, of a student, or the enthusiasm of a teacher?”
The Universities at Shady Grove are located at 9630 Gudelsky Drive in Rockville. DIRECTIONS: From Washington and the Beltway (I-495): Take exit for I-270 North. Take Exit 6B for Maryland Route 28 West toward Darnestown. Merge onto West Montgomery Ave./Route 28. Turn LEFT onto Darnestown Rd. Turn LEFT onto Shady Grove Rd. Turn RIGHT onto Gudelsky Way. Turn LEFT onto Gudelsky Dr. Parking will be available in Lots 1 and 2 on left.