Governor Martin O'Malley today announced the first recipients of $5.5 million in total grants from two funds--the Digital Learning Innovation Fund and the Early College Innovation Fund--designed to promote programs that prepare students for jobs in the 21st Century economy.
"In Maryland, we must ensure that our educators and institutions are equipped to provide students with the knowledge and skills that will fuel innovation in the future," said Governor O'Malley. "By investing in programs that promote interactive digital learning and make it easier for students to train for high-demand fields, we are making the better choices that will expand opportunity and support our economy. Working together with our educators, parents and students, we can give our children the tools they need for the jobs of tomorrow."
The Digital Learning Innovation Fund helps local school systems maximize the potential of new and emerging technologies to improve the teaching and learning environment and to better prepare all students for the workforce of today and the future. Six school systems plus the statewide SEED school will receive a total of $3.5 million to fund initiatives that help them transition to comprehensive digital learning environments that fundamentally change the interaction between teachers and students.
The Early College Innovation Fund supports efforts in Maryland to increase access to postsecondary education and help students obtain the credentials necessary to compete for jobs in growing sectors of the state's economy. Six partnerships between local school systems and higher education institutions will receive a total of $2 million to support programs that provide accelerated pathways for students seeking science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines or STEM-related career and technical education (CTE) programs.
"Our goal in Maryland is to ensure each one of our students has the opportunity to take that next step, be it college or a career, and these competitive grants will help us head in that direction," said State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian M. Lowery. "Cutting-edge educational technology and new early college programs offer additional models to help students to move forward."
To promote early college access, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is funding partnerships of local school systems and higher education institutions to create or expand early college high schools or other forms of early college access; Advanced Placement courses; and CTE programs. Grant recipients include:
Chesapeake College Partnering with Caroline County Public Schools
Community College of Baltimore County partnering with Baltimore County Public Schools
Hagerstown Community College partnering with Washington County Public Schools
Howard County Public Schools partnering with Howard Community College
Montgomery County Public Schools partnering with Montgomery College
Prince George's Community College partnering Prince George's County Public Schools, Chesapeake Math and Information Technology Academy, Bowie State University, Capitol College, University of Maryland University College, Lockheed Martin, Agemo Technology, Inc., and Prince George's County Government Office of Information Technology.
Recipients of the Digital Learning Innovation Grants include the SEED School of Maryland and school districts in Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Kent and Washington counties.