education

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education has approved renewed flexibility for Maryland from provisions of the No Child Left Behind program.

The department said in a news release Thursday that Maryland and six other states are implementing state-designed plans for student success.

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There’s some disagreement over the type of successor the University of Delaware should hire to replace former University president Patrick Harker.

Jeff Garland, university vice president and secretary with the Board of Trustees, said they were looking for someone to follow in his footsteps.

But there has been some push back from university professors who charged that Harker put too much emphasis on science and engineering programs at the expense of other departments.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Universities and colleges in Virginia expect enrollment to increase by more than 7 percent in 2021.

A preliminary state report says public and private institutions expect to enroll about 475,000 undergraduate students in 2021. Undergraduate enrollment last year totaled about 442,300 undergraduates.

Institutions also expect to award more than 75,200 associate and bachelor's degrees in 2021. That's an increase of almost 7 percent.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia will discuss the report on Tuesday at its regular meeting.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State education officials are holding a public hearing regarding the proposed relocation of a charter school whose two leaders were fired for repeatedly using school credit cards for personal use.

The first of two scheduled public hearings will be held Monday evening to consider a request by Family Foundations Academy to modify its charter.

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The Delaware General Assembly has spoken.

Students in public schools will be allowed to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests.

The state Senate took all of five minutes to approve the measure.

It now goes to Governor Jack Markell who opposes the opt-out provision.

But both houses approved the measure by veto-proof votes.

The governor now has ten days to decide what to do.

Some parents have already kept their children from taking the test.

                

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Wicomico Superintendent of Schools John Fredericksen has announced he will not seek to renew his four-year contract when it ends next June.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports Fredericksen announced his decision at a school board meeting Tuesday.

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This week the Delaware state Senate approved a measure that would allow students to opt out of the new standardized tests. And, this, reports Delmarva Public Radio's Rachel Taylor a renewed debate over testing itself.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials placed four charter schools on probation, but decided not to close them after investigating enrollment and financial concerns.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the schools will still be open in the fall, including two new ones Thursday. Officials say two new charter schools - Freire Charter School and Delaware Design Lab High School - will open this fall as scheduled. The other two - Academy of Dover and Prestige Academy - will stay open, assuming they meet the terms of their probation.

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The Delaware Senate has approved a measure that would allow parents to opt out of a new state assessment test.

But, it was expanded to allow parents to also keep their children from having to take district wide tests as well as the Smart Balanced Assessment tests.

In addition, the measure would allow high school juniors to opt out of the statewide test as well.

This means that the measure must return to the House for a final vote.

Senate Education Committee Chair David Sokola said that he believed the bill was better but still represented bad policy.

Don Rush

There’s a sharp disagreement again over the fate of the West Salisbury Elementary School.

The Wicomico County Board of Education wants to expand the number of students from 350 to 650 and to include Pre-K through fifth grade.  

Currently, he school only goes up to second grade.

This comes after the school board successfully pushed for build a new facility rather than renovate the old structure.

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A legislative hearing exploded yesterday when Delaware lawmakers and parents found themselves in a shouting match over whether to allow students to opt-out of the statewide test.

It’s called the Smarter Balanced Assessment which students took for the first time this year.

The legislation before the lawmakers would allow students to opt out of taking the test.

A number of angry parents said they would keep their children from taking the test with one saying he didn’t care what the law said.

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There are two new members on the Wicomico County Board of Education.

Governor Larry Hogan appointed John Palmer and Joseph Ollinger to take over the seats of former members Marvin Blye and Larry Dodd.

The board’s vice president Donald Fitzgerald has been reappointed.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that both Palmer and Ollinger are strong backers of the property tax revenue cap limiting the rates residents have to pay.

In addition, Ollinger lost his bid as a Republican candidate for County Executive against Rick Pollitt by 3 percent.

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Worcester County residents will see an increase in the property tax of 6.5 percent and a .5 percent hike in the piggyback tax after the Commissioner approved the budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

In addition, the public schools will receive its maintenance of effort money but will operate at the same funding level as 2015 despite a cost of living increase request.

Finally there will be a budget surplus of $1.5 million.

The Commissioners were facing a $22 million budget shortfall.

The spending plan was approved a 5-to-2 vote.

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Delaware is in mourning this week after receiving news of the death of Beau Biden from brain cancer at the age of 46. Top state and national officials offered their condolences to Vice President Joe Biden and his family at their loss. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at the politician and man who was such a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Worcester County Public Schools website

The fight over the education budget in Worcester County was expected to see teachers at Snow Hill High School begin working to the rule.

They met on a grassy knoll where buses drop off students in the morning and are protesting the lack of a pay raise yet again.

Worcester County officials say that there is no money for the $4 million budget increase request by school Superintendent Jerry Wilson.

The county faces a $22 million short fall and it is trying to partially close that with a six cent tax hike.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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