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Citizen Coalition Fighting O'Malley's Teacher Pension Shift

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Opponents of one cost cutting measure from Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are unveiling a website outlining their concerns. The governor this year has proposed shifting part of the burden of paying teacher pensions to counties, something he has resisted in the past.

The "Stop the Shift" website was started by a coalition of elected officials, educators, taxpayers, community activists, and government employees, according to the site.

Many leaders in both branches of the General Assembly have sought the move as a way to trim the state budget, as the state currently fully pays teacher pensions. 

Local leaders from around Maryland are almost uniformly against the shift, saying they face budget deficits that will only grow if they have to start paying for pensions. In Montgomery County, the plan would cost $47 million in the next fiscal year. A statement from the county council released on the web site says that amount is equal to the salaries of nearly 500 teachers, police officers, and firefighters.

O'Malley has called his plan fair considering that he has resisted pressure to propose the shift in previous years.

NPR

A Sense Of Self: What Happens When Your Brain Says You Don't Exist

In his new book, The Man Who Wasn't There, Anil Ananthaswamy examines the ways people think of themselves — and how those perceptions can be distorted by certain brain conditions.
NPR

Squeezed By Drought, California Farmers Switch To Less Thirsty Crops

Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip To Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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