DELMARVA NOW: Education a top issue as Democratic candidates for Maryland governor square off in debate

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With just six weeks until Maryland voters will choose their parties’ candidate for governor, a crowded field of Democratic contenders focused on education Monday in a televised debate.

“The pandemic only exacerbated preexisting, long standing educational problems in our state,” said candidate Jon Baron, a former nonprofit executive, at the debate hosted by Maryland Public Television on their Owings Mills campus.

Baron cited national statistics showing that over a quarter of Maryland middle school students are not reading at a basic level and more than a third are not doing basic math.

“Provide high quality tutoring to every struggling first and second grader in the entire state of Maryland,” said Baron, calling the program his “top priority as governor.”

“It’s also the most effective tool we have to address COVID-related learning loss,” said the former Clinton administration official, estimating a $200 million price tag for the program, in a post-debate interview.

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