education

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A long-running dispute involving Maryland's historically black colleges has cost the Maryland Higher Education Commission millions.

The Baltimore Sun reports the commission has spent more than $2.2 million defending itself in the lawsuit, according to records provided to the paper under a Public Information Act request. The paper reports that about $925,000 went to law firm Venable LLP and $1.3 million to Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.

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The Worcester County public school teachers will be getting a raise next year.

It will be a 1 percent cost of living increase.

In addition, there will be no staff cuts.

That’s the unanimous decision by the Board of Education when they approved their budget yesterday.

School Superintendent Louis Taylor told the Salisbury Daily Times that this would help hire and retain the highest quality of instructors.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the school board and Worcester County Teachers Association have been completed.

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Generally, students in Maryland public schools automatically get President’s Day and the day after Easter off.

But there’s legislation in Annapolis that would allow the school districts to decide if they want give students to do that.

WBOC reports that supporters of the measure say this would give schools more flexibility.

They point to Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to require schools to start after Labor Day and to end before June 15th.

Supporters say this makes fitting in classroom time more difficult.  

Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Department

Security is being beefed up with sheriff’s patrols at Queen Anne’s County High School.

WBOC reports that the school board said it had received a number of phone calls from parents last night about a rumor that a student was going to bring a weapon to school today.          

Despite an investigation by the sheriff’s office authorities could not turn up any evidence for the alleged threat.

Nonetheless the sheriff’s office committed extra officers to the area out of a need for caution.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has approved requiring local school boards to report data on specialized intervention services to help children with learning disabilities early in schools.

The Senate voted 46-0 for the bill Wednesday.

It would require local boards to annually report data to the State Department of Education and the General Assembly from kindergarten through third grade, starting in the 2018-2019 school year.

Mug Shots

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore school police officer caught on video slapping and kicking a teen at a school while another officer stood by has accepted a plea deal.
 
News media outlets report Anthony Spence entered an Alford plea on Tuesday to a second-degree assault charge, not admitting guilt, but acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence to convict.
 
Instead of facing jail time, Spence will get probation before judgment and 18 months of supervised probation. He must also resign from the school police force within 90 days.
 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia higher education officials are trying to figure out why 1.5 percent fewer students enrolled in the state's public and private colleges and universities this academic year.

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Maryland’s two Senators were among the 50 votes against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin told Capital News Service that he believes even his Republican colleagues would have wanted a more traditional nominee with experience in education.

Cardin and Senator Chris Van Hollen said they were concerned about DeVos’s lack of support for public schools as she pushed for private and charter schools.

DeVos was confirmed when Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie breaking vote.

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Crisfield High School and Academy has been evacuated after receiving a bomb threat.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Somerset County Public Schools got a phone call around 10 a.m. after which students were gathered on the bleachers while police searched the facility.

In the 11 o'clock hour parents were notified that they should pick up their children.

The Crisfield police are investigating the incident and authorities say an announcement will be made later today when the school will be reopened. 

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Senator Ben Cardin says will not support the nomination of Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education.

The Maryland Democrat said he was deeply troubled by – what he called her lack of support for the nation’s public schools.

Cardin said that the charter school programs supported by DeVos would drain revenue and resources from the public schools.

In addition, he said that he was concerned about her lack of ability to discuss the long-standing issues being debated in education community.

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Senator Chris Van Hollen says he will vote against three of President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations.

The Maryland Democrat says he will oppose Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General saying that he is trouble by his record on voting rights and the rights of women, minorities and the LGBT community.

He also said he did not believe that Sessions would provide an independent check on Trump’s push to bar Muslims from coming into the country.

Maryland’s Junior Senator said he opposed Chris Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.

Marc Steiner Annapolis Summit website

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) and top Democratic Legislative Leaders spar at Marc Steiner's Annapolis Summit as the General Assembly's 90 day session got underway this week. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush has this report.

Governor's office

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging millions of dollars in tuition and student loan debt relief.

The Republican governor told a news conference Tuesday at the University of Maryland in College Park that he's proposing a $17.5 million investment to enable the state's 14 colleges and universities to cap tuition increases at 2 percent.

He says they would otherwise have had to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent.

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Voters in the Appoquinimink School district will be getting $268 million for capital expenditures.

Voters gave their overwhelming approval to two referendum questions by a 5000 to 2000 vote margin.

The school board president Richard Forsten hailed the vote as evidence of getting the word out to voters.

School superintendent Matt Burrows noted that the district is the fastest growing in the state of Virginia.

The Daily Times reports that the district has grown from around 3-thousand students ten years ago to around 10-thousand this year.

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The Cape Henlopen School Board voted 6-to-1 to offer students contraceptives and HIV testing next year.

WBOC reports that currently the wellness center provides such services as immunizations, STI and & pregnancy tests.

The contraceptives to be offered next fall will involve condoms, oral contraceptives, birth control implants and Depo-Provera.

The television station reports that a major issue has been parental consent.

That is now required for students to use the wellness center.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says his budget proposal will include a 1.5 percent one-time bonus for state workers next year.

McAuliffe said Tuesday during a regular appearance on WRVA-AM's "Ask the Governor" that the bonus would be paid in December 2017. He says he's setting aside $130.6 million for the pay boost, career development and money to reduce salary compression among law enforcement.

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Officials with Frederick County Public Schools say about 1,000 former students are affected by a pre-2010 data breach that was discovered in September.

Schools spokesman Michael Raymond Doerrer said in an email Tuesday that students who attended county public schools between November 2005 and November 2006 were affected. He says the data includes names, Social Security number, and date of birth.

The breach was brought to the school system's attention by a former student who found his data on a website.

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An arrest has been made of a Dorchester County High School Student after she allegedly threatened a school administrator.

The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Department said that the incident occurred on December 5th when 19-year old Sonia Morales allegedly threatened the administrator with a pair of scissors.

WBOC reports that she was upset about with the administrator, picked up the scissors and made a threatening remark.

Morales is facing charges that include possession of a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and disturbing school operations.

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Dr. Donna Hanlin, the superintendent of the Wicomico County Schools, issued a statement to calm rumors emerging out of an incident at James M. Bennet High School.

On Friday the facility was in lockdown for about two hours in the wake of a fight on campus.

WBOC reports that students told the television station that there were three fights.

Hanlin issued a statement that said the altercation took place between three students and was not schoolwide.

She said she incident was sparked by comments made on social media but did not provide any further explanation.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland commission that is reviewing state education funding levels is holding its third meeting.

The Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education is scheduled to meet Thursday in Annapolis.

The Maryland State Department of Education's consultants are presenting findings on public school funding to the panel.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Two Maryland casinos will keep a higher share of slot machine revenue when MGM National Harbor opens this week.

State lawmakers approved the added shares several years ago to help the two casinos make up for lost business after MGM opens.

Maryland Live! in Anne Arundel County will increase its share from 41 percent to 49 percent. Horseshoe Baltimore's share will rise from 39 percent to 46 percent. Those two casinos are the closest ones to MGM, which is in Prince George's County.

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The Accomack County school board tonight will take up two books that they have pulled from their classrooms because of a complaint about the use of racial slurs.

The novels in question are “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

Marie Rothstein-Willliams, who is white and complained about the books, told the Salisbury Daily Times that she understood these were classic literature but said she there was too much offensive wording.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Chincoteague Elementary School.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland State Board of Education has set guidelines for considering waivers to post-Labor Day school starts under Gov. Larry Hogan's recent executive order.

The board announced the guidelines Monday.

Local boards will have to demonstrate they've met at least one compelling justification outlined in the governor's order. They also will have to have conducted at least one public meeting where the waiver application was considered and approved.

Northrop Grumman website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland legislative leaders are announcing a compromise with Gov. Larry Hogan on school funding and a loan for Northrop Grumman.

House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced the compromise Tuesday.

Northrop Grumman requested aid to acquire a 300,000 square-foot facility in Linthicum and keep 10,000 employees in Maryland. Last year, lawmakers approved a $37.5 million tax credit for the defense contractor. Another $20 million proposed by Hogan needs approval by the Legislative Policy Committee.

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Voters in the Indian River School District are set to go to the polls today to decide a $7.3 million referendum.

If approved it would raise property taxes by more than $95 a year and would providing funding for school security, technology and hiring among other needs.

But the vote comes just as a state audit found that there had been mismanagement of school funds over seen by the former CFO Patrick Miller.

WBOC reports that the audit said the district did not have adequate safeguards to control and detect financial improprieties.

American Association of School Administrators website

Susan Bunting, Superintendent of the Indian River School District, says that the district had no idea that their CFO had been mishandling its money.

The press conference by Bunting came a day after the state auditor found that there has been mishandling of funds.

The audit said that it created “an environment ripe with intimidation tactics, favoritism, and nepotism.

Bunting said that there had never been an audit that came back finding there was such an issue before.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Department of Education is asking for a 7.7 percent increase in its operating budget.

Education Secretary Steven Godowsky presented state budget officials Tuesday with a budget request of about $1.49 billion, roughly $107 million higher than this year's DOE operating budget.

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More than 30 students who enrolled in a now defunct Physician Assistant program have hammered out a deal with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

A year ago the program was shut down after it lost its accreditation leaving the students high and dry.

The students then asked UMES and the University system to provide funding for the costs of students who wanted to transfer to programs with were more expensive.

In addition, the students asked for a total of $1.5 million to compensate them for lost pay caused by the delay in transferring to another program.    

trump campaign website

It’s now President-elect Donald Trump who swept to victory with 289 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 218.

But, the states of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware did go blue giving the Democrat their electoral votes.

Voters React

Maryland Eastern Shore voters told Delmarva Public Radio’s Savanah Hatch there were mixed feeling:

On the Eastern Shore Trump overwhelmingly carried the three Lower Shore Counties of Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset.

Trump campaigned in Worcester County in April of this year.

Red Clay Consolidated School District

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - School officials say two Warner Elementary School students were shot with a pellet gun, but were not injured.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Red Clay Consolidated School District spokeswoman Pati Nash says one student was hit on the thumb and another was grazed in the neck area.

Nash did not say whether any students were disciplined, but she says officials are following the student code of conduct.

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