education

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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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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates is taking up the state's $40 billion budget.

Lawmakers are scheduled Wednesday to consider changes to the budget plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

A House panel voted unanimously last week to make room to add more money for education and to restore a 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Employment Commission says the state's jobless rate fell in January to 4.7 percent, the lowest rate in more than six years.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down from 4.8 percent in December 2014 and down from 5.3 percent a year ago.

The commission says January's rate was the lowest rate since October 2008.

Industries seeing employment increases included private education and health services, construction and manufacturing.

Don Rush

The Wicomico County Council yesterday turned back an effort by County Executive Bob Culver to halt the demolition of the old Bennett Middle School.

Culver’s 5 year capital improvement plan withdrew the money and called for using the building for county offices and moving the new athletic fields for the James M. Bennett High School to property on the athletic practice field on Division Street.

The council members questioned the timing of the decision to halt the demolition plans.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a new law that reins in the use of seclusion and restraint as methods of controlling children in public schools.

McAuliffe signed legislation Monday requiring the state Board of Education to develop regulations governing the use of the techniques across Virginia's 134 school divisions, according to the governor's spokesman.

The legislation had broad support from both chambers of the General Assembly.

Don Rush

There was a public signing yesterday of a 30-foot-long 1,000 pound steel beam on the campus of Salisbury University.

It will be put on the top floor of the new 122-thousand square-foot building that will be the Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons.

Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach told those gathered in Red Square that this was a celebration of a building that will benefit not only the campus but the community.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says it's time to approve a tax credit for businesses that donate money to support education.

Hogan was joined Wednesday by the Rev. William Lori, archbishop of Baltimore. Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, director at Agudath Israel of Maryland, also attended the event promoting the Maryland Education Credit Initiative.

It would provide a qualifying Maryland business with a tax credit equal to 60 percent of its donation to public and private education.

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Christina School District has begun cutting costs to address a budget deficit after voters nixed a plan to raise property taxes to cover growing school costs.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the district is freezing hiring, cancelling travel for personnel and cutting school budgets. Principals are being asked to cut overtime, reduce contracted services and eliminate unfilled positions in which teachers get extra pay to serve as coaches or advisers.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - A union representing professors is criticizing the University of Delaware president after he wrote an opinion piece saying smart students are looking for alternatives online and that faculty should lose some autonomy in course design.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the union is calling University President Patrick Harker's statements an affront to the university's educational mission and values.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is holding a news conference with education leaders to talk about his charter school bill.

The governor also plans to discuss a bill to create tax credits for people who make voluntary contributions to private or parochial schools at the event on Thursday.

The news conference is being held as the governor's charter school measure is scheduled for a hearing Thursday afternoon before lawmakers. The bill is designed to make it easier to operate charter schools in Maryland.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland public schools are preparing for new standardized testing.

Elementary, middle and high school students are to start testing in March through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The exam is connected to the Common Core State Standards for reading and math proficiency.

School districts statewide provided students with a recent demonstration, allowing schools to test technological infrastructure for the computer-based exams.

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The nation’s top education official defended the administration’s Race to the Top program that saw $119 million go to Delaware for educational initiatives.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the First State’s record a model for the country.

During his visit to the state yesterday that included the classrooms at Howard High School of Technology he touted Delaware’s lowest in-decades dropout rate, more students applying to college and unprecedented investments in Pre-K education.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Senate committee has killed a proposal to allow school security officers to be armed with stun guns, pepper spray and similar weapons.

The Republican-controlled Education and Health Committee rejected the measure Thursday on an 8-6 vote. Two Republicans, Jeff McWaters of Virginia Beach and Thomas Garrett of Buckingham County, joined minority Democrats in voting "no."

The bill, which passed the House of Delegates last week, was introduced by Del. Mark Cole, a Spotsylvania County Republican.

Delaware government website

Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy got a grilling by lawmakers yesterday.

It came over his bid for $7.5 million to sustain the federal Race to the Top grant that runs out this year.

Several lawmakers complained to Murphy that too much of the federal funds went to bureaucracy and too little to helping out teachers in the classroom.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the lawmakers questioned whether the state’s resources might not be better spent somewhere else.

Especially, they added, when the state budget was so tight.

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The dropout rate for Delaware high school students declined last year to the lowest level in three decades.

2.1 percent dropped out last year as opposed to 2.9 percent the year before.

That amounted to 817 students out of a student body of almost 39-thousand.

The graduation rates also went up to 84.4 percent compared to 79.9 percent the year before.

Meanwhile, low income students saw their graduation rates rise to 78 percent – up from 73.7 percent in 2013.

governor's office

BALTIMORE (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is visiting a Baltimore charter school with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss his proposed bill that would strengthen Maryland's charter school law.

Hogan is scheduled to participate in a reading exercise and talk with students at the Empowerment Academy in Baltimore. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford is also set to join the visit.

The Republican governor is looking to expand choices for students and their families as well as make it easier for charter schools to operate in Maryland.

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A group formed by Gov. Jack Markell to study ways to improve educational opportunities for children in Delaware's largest city is continuing its work after issuing an interim report with a host of recommendations.

The Wilmington Education Advisory Committee was to meet Monday night at Stubbs Elementary School, with a focus on engaging the public in it work.

Among the recommendations the committee has proposed are getting rid of two of the four school districts that currently serve city residents and a moratorium on new charter schools.

Wicomico County School logo

Wicomico County could soon have an elected school board.

Last night there was almost unanimous support from those attended a public hearing by the Board of Education.

Harry Basehart said that it should follow the model set by Caroline County where the board reflects the gender, ethnic and racial diversity of the local residents.  

Many complained that the Board is accountable to the governor not the county residents even though education takes up half of the Wicomico County budget.

Don Rush

It’s a fix-it strategy for the West Salisbury Elementary School.

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has opted to make improvements in the aging structure rather than building a new facility.

Wicomico County released a report on the building needs and the fix-it strategy will come at a much lower price tag.

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Tour

(Questions Raised About Culver's Private Tour of School -- Salisbury Daily Times)

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Don rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of finding more room in Maryland's budget for education are launching a website to show how a current budget plan would affect school districts.

House Speaker Michael Busch is scheduled to be joined by Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller on Tuesday in Annapolis, along with PTA President Ray Leone.

They are criticizing Gov. Larry Hogan's budget plan, because it scales back funding by roughly $144 million less than what schools were expecting to receive, based on past budgets in recent years.

Don Rush

The battle of the budget in Annapolis is about to begin. Republican Governor Larry Hogan took some sharp swipes at his Democratic predecessor Martin O'Malley at Marc Steiner's Annapolis Summit as top Democratic Legislative leaders took aim at his budget proposal. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush was there and filed this report.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Members of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland are criticizing Gov. Larry Hogan's budget proposal for cuts to education and health care.
 
Caucus members said Thursday that Hogan's plan would set back progress Maryland has made.
 
Black lawmakers from the city of Baltimore and Prince George's County are unhappy about cutting funding in half for jurisdictions where education costs more. The loss of roughly $68 million will fall more heavily on their jurisdictions.  
 

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A former police officer turned Maryland lawmaker says it's a matter of when, not if, a mass shooting happens in one of the state's schools.

Delegate John Cluster, a Baltimore County Republican, is hoping his bill to put an armed officer in every public school will prevent a shooting like the ones at Columbine or Sandy Hook. A House committee held a hearing on the bill on Wednesday.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland State Department of Education says newly released data shows that more Maryland high school students are graduating than ever before.

The state says the dropout rate in the state has declined, while the graduation rate climbed to over 86 percent in 2014, four percentage points up from 2013's 82 percent graduation rate.

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Governor Jack Markell delivered his seventh State of the State address yesterday hailing the economic progress in the First State.

But he called on lawmakers to help him close a $780 million spending gap in meeting the state’s transportation needs.

In addition, he focused on issues ranging from ways to improve education and to end veteran homelessness to dealing with substance abuse.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the address was well received by lawmakers.

University of Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An effort to deny in-state college tuition rates to some immigrants has been narrowly defeated in the Virginia Senate.

Introduced by Republican Sen. Richard Black of Loudoun County, it was rejected 20-19 Tuesday, largely along party lines in the Republican-controlled chamber. One Republican, Sen. John Watkins of Powhatan County, voted with minority Democrats against the bill. Another Republican, Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel of Winchester, did not vote.

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