Push to bring driver education back to Montgomery County schools

As part of a larger push to make the roads safer, momentum is building behind a plan to put driver education classes back into the curriculum of Montgomery County, Maryland, public schools.

The shift from the costly, independent driver education programs currently offered would allow more access to students regardless of income, according to Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando, who backs the plan.

Jawando also said in-school driver education would make sure passengers are as well-informed as drivers.

“Everyone wants to do everything they can to make sure that we’re keeping our kids and all of our residents safe,” Jawando said. “I think that makes the chances of it (advancing) … hopefully, very likely.”

The idea was originally proposed by student board of education member Nate Tinbite, and a resolution directed the county schools superintendent to look into the issue.

The Montgomery County Council would have to fund any changes.

Rather than pushing independent driving schools out of business, Jawando said he envisions a partnership with driving schools, and that classes for students would be heavily subsidized, if not free.

The proposal could be looked at by the council as soon as this spring during budget discussions, Jawando said, with an eye on making the changes in schools by 2021 or 2022.

In Maryland, all new drivers must complete a course that includes 30 hours of classroom learning and six hours of behind-the-wheel training.

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