MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN THE NEWS: Students Protest in Wake of Florida Massacre

In support of stricter gun control, hundreds of students from several Montgomery County high schools walked out of class and marched toward the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Rallying for stronger gun control laws in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida, the students took the Metro to Union Station, where they marched to Capitol Hill.

In response to the protests, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith released a letter to the public stating that though he supported students who spoke their minds, he cautioned against walkouts.

“MCPS strongly supports students who engage in the civic process and share thoughts on the issues they are passionate about,” he wrote. “[However], leaving school property poses a significant safety risk. MCPS does not have the staff or resources to ensure students are safe during the school day when they are not on a school campus.”

Officials said that students who left school buildings would have unexcused absences.

County to Open New Day Care Center

A child care center is set to replace the former Silver Spring Library on Colesville Road.

County officials voted to select the Martha B. Gudelsky Child Development Center proposal, which would create a facility to serve about 150 children from birth to age 5 and employ about 50 people in part-time and full-time positions.

In the proposal, the existing library building would be preserved and renovated.

Regional child care operator CentroNía plans to run the day-to-day operations at the center, which will reportedly be built with funds from the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation Inc.

The Gudelsky Foundation will receive access to the former library site after the move to begin developing the child care center and expects to open it sometime in late 2020.

The proposal was selected over another by nonprofit affordable housing developer Victory Housing of North Bethesda.

Silver Spring’s new library is located at 900 Wayne Ave.

County OKs $2.59B School Budget

The Montgomery County School Board on Monday adopted a $2.59 billion budget for staff restructuring, money for hiring new school counselors and psychologists and extended-year programming at certain schools.

The vote was unanimous for the fiscal 2019 proposal and increases spending by 2.9 percent compared to the previous year’s budget.

The budget also includes an increase for new programs focused on creating community partnerships, opening more access to literacy and math initiatives and adding computer coding as an elective course.

Superintendent Jack Smith crafted the budget to expand career learning opportunities and dual-language programs in the school system, Bethesda magazine reported.

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Lauren Victoria Burke

Lauren Victoria Burke has covered politics on Capitol Hill since 1998. She began her career in journalism assisting Cokie Roberts at ABC News. Prior to that, she was a staffer on Capitol Hill. She has also worked for USA, The Washington Post, The Hill, and Associated Press. She is the author of two books, Birth of a Statesman, a 280 page book of photography documenting President Obama’s 2008 campaign for the White House and Election Daze a book she co-authored with Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee. She is the creator of, a blog on the Congressional Black Caucus and owns WDCPIX.COM photo service. Ms. Burke has covered several political campaigns including Hillary Clinton’s 2000 run for Senate and President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and the experience yielded two books, BIRTH OF A STATESMAN and PHOTO BOOK : 01.20.09 | INAUGURATION DAY, a LARGE 13 x 11 coffee table book of images created on the most historic day in American history, January 20, 2009, the inaugural of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. You can follow her on twitter @crewof42

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