education

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan will deliver remarks at the first Governor's Business Summit.

It's scheduled for Thursday in Baltimore.

The governor's opening address is called: "Maryland is Open for Business."

Leaders in business and education are scheduled to attend.

They will be gathering to discuss topics like entrepreneurship and the future of manufacturing in Maryland. They also will talk about redefining urban centers across the state and the next generation of learning environments.

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A number of Delaware school districts have been handing out pink slips and have decided not to fill open positions as they await a final decision on cuts in the education budget.

The Wilmington News Journal reports there were 22 layoffs in the Appoquinimink district.

Governor John Carney says the reduction in education spending is necessary with a looming $400-million budget deficit.

But Cary said the districts do have to the option of raising taxes without a referendum to meet some of the shortfall under his spending plan.

University of Virginia Seal

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - University of Virginia students will be paying more for tuition next year.

Local media report UVA's Board of Visitors approved the increase Thursday. In-state students will pay 2.2 percent more, and out-of-state students will pay 3.5 percent more.

The university said in a statement that the increase is needed to deal with a state budget cut and required employee pay raises.

TV station WVIR reports a group of students protested outside the building where the Board of Visitors was meeting.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on a legislative session that has been full of measures aimed at countering President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress.

The Democrat-led legislature, which adjourns at midnight Monday, has passed legislation aimed at protecting health care from cuts in Washington.

It also has empowered the attorney general to sue the federal government without the governor's permission. And the attorney general will get an extra $1 million a year in future budgets to help pay expenses to do that.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of a plan approved by Maryland lawmakers to identify and assist struggling schools in Maryland are speaking out against Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of the measure.

Lawmakers and representatives of the state's teachers union are gathering Thursday morning in Annapolis.

The Republican governor vetoed the bill on Wednesday. He says it's too lax on academic performance standards, caves in to special interests and makes it "nearly impossible" for the state to fix struggling schools.

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Margaret Mason has quit the Christina School Board effective immediately.

Her term is not due to expire until 2021.

She was first elected to the board last year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware Department of Education said it is extending the filing deadline for the next school board election in May.

There is a 20 day-candidate filing period for election to the school board.

The paper had no word on why Mason suddenly decided to step down. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a measure to allocate $28 million in additional school funding, including $23.7 million for Baltimore city.

Hogan signed the bill on Monday morning at a ceremony with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh standing behind him in Annapolis.

The money goes to Baltimore city and 10 Maryland counties that have lost funding in the state's school funding formula due to declining enrollment.

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DOVER, Del. (AP/DPR) - Delaware Gov. John Carney says his first months in office have brought into sharp focus the struggles the state must deal with.

Carney, a Democrat, says the General Assembly has been dealing with a nearly $400 million budget deficit.

"If we're going to tackle the tough issues that confront us, we need to get our financial house in order. We need a budget reset, a new plan to set us on a stronger financial footing and make our state more competitive."

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Forty-one percent of high school graduates in Delaware’s public schools are entering colleges and universities unprepared.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Department of Education issued the number during a conference held in Wilmington yesterday.

The Department stressed that acceptance to an institution of higher learning does not mean the student is ready.

The paper reports that 61 percent of the 2015 graduating class enrolled in college – an uptick of 3 percent.

Don Rush

The Indian River School District Superintendent Mark Steele says his students will get “slammed” under the state budget proposed by Governor John Carney.

He told the Wilmington News Journal that what would hurt the school system most is the decision to cut $22 million in the Education Sustainment budget.

Carney’s budget has also slashed $15 million from the school operating budgets.

For the district the cuts would amount to $1.7 million for the fiscal year of 2018.

Jennifer Seay / Wicomico Board of Education

Christen Tacka has been named this year’s Wicomico Teacher of the Year.

The 22-year old intervention specialist at Prince Street Elementary School said that while it may sound corny she loves her job.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 25 teachers were honored at the annual banquet last night held on the campus of Salisbury University.

The paper reports that the field was dominated by teachers in early childhood and primary education with seven top elementary teachers chosen by their schools.

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The graduation and dropout rates for high school students in Delaware is improving.

The high school graduation rate inched up from 84.6 percent from 84.3 percent in 2015.

Around 83-hundred out of 98-hundred students graduated with a high school diploma.

Meanwhile, the dropout rate declined from 2.2 percent in the 2014-2015 school year to 1.4 percent in the last term.

The Red Clay School District - now the biggest statewide - hailed its low dropout rate of .9 percent.

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There will be more flexibility in Delaware’s new education plan for schools for accountability and funding.

In addition, there will be a five star rating performance system.

But the plan did get some opposition from the Delaware State Education Association.

State Representative Kim Williams, vice chair of the Education Committee, questioned the fairness of the system because of school choice with some schools having a larger group of higher performing students.

A final draft is expected to be submitted to the federal Department of Education later this spring.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are eyeing proposals to bring more transparency and accountability to the state school board, if not abolish it.

A legislative committee on Tuesday discussed several recommendations for overhauling the seven-member board of gubernatorial appointees.

The board has been criticized by lawmakers, teachers, school districts and parents in recent years for being heavy-handed and inaccessible.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are set to vote on a bill aimed at encouraging teenagers to stay in school and get their high school diplomas.

The bill to be voted on Tuesday requires any student over the age of 16 who wants to leave school prior to graduation to obtain the written consent of a parent or guardian.

The student also would have to attend an exit interview where he or she would be told that dropping out could lead to diminished earning potential and the increased likelihood of unemployment.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State officials are distributing legal guidance to local school districts on immigration-related issues in response to President Donald Trump's recent executive actions.

Virginia's Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven Staples sent a memo Wednesday to local superintendents with the advice.

The memo emphasizes that districts must provide a high-quality education for every student, regardless of immigration status. It also says school divisions cannot inquire into a prospective student's citizenship status.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has cut down a bill that would have allowed students to opt out of animal dissections.

The measure brought a spirited debate during the Senate's session Monday night before it was rejected.

Sen. Ron Young, a Frederick County Democrat, says animal dissections are no longer necessary. He also says alternative methods are cheaper, and 18 other states allow students to opt out.

But Sen. Nancy King, a Montgomery County Democrat, says local school boards can address the issue better than state lawmakers.

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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.

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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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