education

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware state House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that would make it easier for those with juvenile criminal convictions to have their records expunged.

The bill to be voted on Tuesday modifies discretionary expungement provisions to allow more people, including those with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, to be eligible to have their records cleared.

The person could not have adult convictions or pending criminal charges.

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The Delaware state House of Representatives has given its blessing to a measure that would allow parents to opt out of standardized testing without their children suffering any disciplinary or academic consequences.

The vote was 36 to 3 with two lawmakers absent.    

Governor Jack Markell has said that he opposes the legislation.

Fellow Democrat Representative John Kowalko who sponsored the bill said that this was not meant as any criticism of the governor’s record on education.

Don Rush

It’s another day at the polls for residents of the Milford School District.

The polls open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase to help deal with overcrowding in the district as well as reductions in spending by the state and federal governments.

The money would go toward a new 14-hundred student high school spread out across 190 acres.

It would sit along Route 113 near Redners.

The old high school site will be used as a new Junior High School for seventh and eighth graders.

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Concerns are now being expressed in Delaware that allowing charter schools to give preference to students who live within five miles of their facility is leading to the resegregration of neighborhoods.

Representative John Kowalko says that Newark Charter School with almost 2000 students is producing de facto segregation because it sits in a mostly white affluent part of the city.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Newark is the only charter school that uses the preference and will soon become a full K-through-12 facility.

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A 6th grade Bennett Middle School got the chance to interview the president of the United States.

12-year old Osman Yahya got the opportunity yesterday during an event sponsored by Discovery Education in Washington D.C.

His job was to host the event and included not only putting questions to the President but taking questions from the live audience of middle school students.

WBOC reports that most of the questions were about education and reading.

Yahya was interested in the books that inspired the president when he was growing up.

SU Unveils Master Plan

Apr 29, 2015

The master plan for Salisbury University was unveiled yesterday that would ensure a central academic base, while improving the ties to the East Campus.

There is a proposal for a Fine and Performing Arts complex on the main campus and a Field House on the East campus.

It would also include the potential plans to improve not only the academic side of the campus but for student life and recreation.

The plans would establish – what has been described as – University District that would cross Route 13.

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The Delaware Senate gave the final okay to a measure that clamps a moratorium on all new charter schools in Wilmington through 2018.

The measure now goes to the Governor for his signature.

But the Senate vote fell along party lines with Republicans charging that the measure is part of an anti-charter school movement in the state legislature.

The state House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by Democrats.

The measure comes after the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee called for a temporary halt on additional charter schools in that city.

Sussex Technical High School Logo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have passed a bill allowing the Sussex Technical School District to temporarily raise tax rates on residents.

The legislation approved Thursday and sent to the Senate is aimed at shoring up the finances of Sussex Technical High School, which has seen enrollment increase sharply in recent years.

Republican House Minority Leader Danny Short says the district has been spending $1 million in cash reserves annually to offset growth-related expenses

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Parents could soon opt out of standardized testing in the state of Delaware.

A legislative panel has sent to the full state House of Representatives a measure even though education officials warned that it could undermine the integrity of the school system.

The debate turned into a shouting match at one point.

State Representative John Kowalko tried to talk over the chairman of the committee Representative Earl Jaques.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials are set to announce the first round of grants in a new program aimed to given Delaware high schools specialized training in high-demand career fields.

Gov. Jack Markell was scheduled to join education officials at Appoquinimink High School in Middletown and Polytech High School in Woodside on Wednesday to announce the state's first Pathways to Prosperity grants.

Sussex County Technical High School

A deal has been struck between Delaware lawmakers and the Sussex County Technical High School.

The state House of Representatives has offered up a plan to restructure the schools finances and enrollment.

The measure would provide for a 5.5 percent property tax increase starting on July 1st in the district.

The following year there would be a 1 cent increase finally capping at 30 cent for $100 of assessed property value.

The increase will cost the average taxpayer nearly $11 by the end of the second year.

reach academy website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge in Wilmington has granted the state of Delaware's request to dismiss racial and gender discrimination claims filed by parents of students at a struggling all-girls charter school trying to stave off a second state-ordered closure.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Stark on Thursday granted the Department of Education's request to dismiss the lawsuit involving predominantly black Reach Academy in New Castle.

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Thousands of students are now taking the PAARC exams for the Common Core program. But, as Delmarva Public Radio's Diamond Holton reports there is criticism.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland funding formula that sends more money to parts of the state where education is more expensive would have to be fully funded in the budget for the next fiscal year, or else it would have to be fully funded the following year.

The Legislature passed the bill late Monday night.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan's charter school bill is advancing in the House of Delegates.

On Thursday the House education subcommittee voted 10-1 to move the measure to a vote by the full Ways and Means Committee.

The bill came to the House heavily amended by the Senate. In an interview with The Associated Press, Hogan said the changes "gutted" his bill.

familyi foundations academy website

Charter schools could be getting a closer look from the Delaware State Auditor’s office.

The legislation sponsored by Representative Kim Williams was sparked by allegations that leaders of the Family Foundations Academy made personal purchases of more than $94-thousand on the institution’s credit card.

Williams noted that the state auditor already oversees district and vo-tech schools.

msea

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The president of a teachers union is urging Maryland lawmakers to reject a tax-credit backed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan for businesses that support students who attend private schools.
 
Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association, said Wednesday lawmakers should reject what she described as a "voucher scheme," whether or not Hogan "chooses to shortchange Maryland and its schools."
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Senate and House negotiators are scheduled to meet to reconcile budget differences.

The panel is planning to meet Tuesday afternoon.

Del. Maggie McIntosh, who is on the negotiating team, says the House and Senate are very close to resolving differences in the Democratic-led Legislature. However, she says they need to bring Republican Gov. Larry Hogan into the conversation.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is giving good marks to Gov. Larry Hogan's charter school bill.

On Monday, the Senate voted 46-1 in support of the amended bill, which some lawmakers called a "balanced approach" to the governor's initiative.

In an interview on Monday with The Associated Press, Hogan said the amendments "basically gutted" his bill.

123rf.com

The former editor of the Wilmington News Journal has died.

John Taylor was 71.

He worked for the paper for 37 years and occupied positions ranging from reporter to the editorial editor.

Taylor left the paper in 2005.

The News Journal says that he had an interest in education and became the assistant to the superintendent of schools for Wilmington’s School system in the late 1960’s to 1971.

David Ledford executive editor of the News Journal has described Taylor as a tenacious journalist who understood and loved Delaware.

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The Delaware General Assembly is looking at legislation that would require school boards to keep an audio recording of their meetings.

In addition, it would require them to put those online.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the lawmakers and their open-government allies say these would help people to check on their local leaders and keep up on what is happening in the schools.

The paper reports that Christina, Red Clay and Capital school districts already put recordings of their meetings online.

governor's office

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has proposed a $5.2 million tax relief package for military and first responder pensions in his supplemental budget.

In addition, there is a $7.4 million proposal to eliminate personal property taxes on businesses that have less than $10-thousand in personal property.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the supplemental plan has drawn criticism from the Maryland State Education Association for not including the $70 million that was cut from Hogan’s original budget.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan's appointee to head the Maryland Higher Educamission hasn't been confirmed by a Senate panel, which has held its last scheduled meeting this legislative session.
 
Sen. Jamie Raskin said Monday that serious questions were raised about how Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera would fit in to the post.
 

Don Rush

The Wicomico County public schools will wrap up the term on June 17th.

Maryland Schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery has allowed the district a three day waiver after 9 days of school were missed due to the spate of snow storms this winter.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that along with the 5 additional days that have been added to the school calendar April 7th which has been set aside for teacher workshops will be counted as a sixth school day.

March 31 will replace the professional day for teachers and classes will see an early dismissal.

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There's an afterglow from the Maryland Senate vote that unanimously approved the $40 billion budget.

The surprise outcome caught many members cheering as the final vote count went up on the board.

Capital News Service reporter Anjali Shastri was there and describes the scene and the issues for Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted unanimously for the state's $40 billion budget.
 
The vote was 46-0 Thursday.
 
Lawmakers made extra cuts to restore scaled-back education funding initially proposed in Gov. Larry Hogan's budget. A 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees also has been restored.
 
Democrats and Republicans spoke positively about the bipartisanship that went into the Senate's budget work.
 

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has passed the state's $40.4 billion budget.

The House voted 129-10 Thursday for the budget bill, with 89 Democrats voting for the measure and 40 Republicans. Ten Republicans voted against it.

The House also voted 122-17 for a companion bill needed to balance the budget.

The bill restores education funding that had not been as high as Democratic lawmakers had been hoping for in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's budget. The House also restored a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

There will be no new charter schools in Delaware for the moment.

Governor Jack Markell wants to develop a strategic plan that would take into account the student needs.

Markell said the questions to be reviewed might include how to meet the needs of the growing number of students whose second language is English.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that once the review is finished the state can then develop a plan for the school system.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates is scheduled to vote on the state's $40.7 billion budget.

The vote is expected Thursday afternoon.

The House has made room in the budget to restore education funding that had not been as high as Democratic lawmakers had been hoping for in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's budget. The House also restored a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate voted unanimously to start double checking the state's answers when it comes to standardized tests.

In a 46-0 vote on Wednesday, senators approved a bill to create a commission tasked with reviewing Maryland's system for testing public school students.

The 19-member commission, according to the legislation, will have a year to do its review after which it must present its findings to all local boards of education as well as the state.

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