education

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A legislative panel has approved a bill that would require students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex.

The Daily Press reports that the bill would mandate that school systems and state agencies adopt policies designed to keep transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. 

The House General Laws subcommittee endorsed the bill Thursday.

Don Rush

During the education budget presentation Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver told council members this week he would like to offer county high school graduates free tuition at Wor-Wic Community College.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that those who qualify would have to be residents of the county for two years, enroll in a degree or certificate program, apply and accept all financial assistance and enroll for 12 credits or more.

Guaduates from Delmar High school would also be eligible.

Books would not be covered.  

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation that would require that Virginia public school students get at least an average of 20 minutes of physical activity a day is advancing in the General Assembly.

A House version of the bill received preliminary approval Wednesday, despite criticism from some lawmakers that it was an unfair imposition the state was putting on teachers and local school districts.

The Senate has already approved its version of the bill. The legislation applies to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia House GOP plans to roll out their agenda on education-related issues.

Republican delegates have planned a news conference Tuesday to present their legislation related on education.

In a speech earlier this month, House GOP Speaker William J. Howell said he supports a "major amendment" to the Virginia Constitution aimed at promoting charter schools.

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There is a suspect in the bomb threat phoned into Stephen Decatur High School this week.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it is a student who is charged with the threat of arson and disturbing school activities and personnel.

He is being charged as a juvenile.

On Wednesday a bomb threat was phoned in causing the high school to be evacuated.

The student was taken into custody yesterday and sent to the Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center in Salisbury. 

Don Rush

There was another bomb threat yesterday.

This time at Stephen Decatur High School.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Worcester County school district officials said the high school got a live call at around 9:30 a.m.

The school’s 13-hundred students were quickly evacuated.

Law enforcement officials found no explosives and the students went back to class at around 11:25 a.m.

Meanwhile, there was a rumor of a bomb threat at Richard A. Shields Elementary School.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are poised to challenge Gov. Jack Markell's veto of a bill allowing Delaware students to opt out of standardized tests.

The legislation would allow students to opt out of tests without repercussions. It is aimed in particular at the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which is tied to Common Core standards championed by Markell.

Rep. John Kowalko, a Newark Democrat, was expected to seek an override vote Thursday, following a rally by supporters of the legislation.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lawmakers are returning to Richmond to kick off the 2016 legislative session and to hear Gov. Terry McAuliffe's State of the Commonwealth speech.

The Democratic governor is entering his third year in office and will be seeking support from state lawmakers to support his $109 billion proposed budget that includes a billion-dollar increase in education spending, small corporate and individual tax cuts, and a 2 percent raise for state employees.

He delivers his third State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night.

md.state.ed.assn website

The Wicomico County Education Association has released the results of a new survey.

The two top concerns of 70 percent of those polled revolve around safety and disrespect in the classroom.

Gary Hammer, president of the Association, said that his members have noticed a significant change that lead him to sound the alarm.

But WBOC reports that Superintendent John Fredericksen responded by saying that disciplinary actions in schools have actually declined in the school this year.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to detail how he wants the state's $109 billion budget spent over the next two years.

McAuliffe is set to outline his budget plan to state lawmakers Thursday at the Capitol.

The Democratic governor has already outlined some of his budget priorities, which include cutting the corporate tax rate and giving state employees a 2 percent raise.

Higher-than-predicted tax revenues have given McAuliffe more leeway in crafting his budget. 

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed a new secretary for the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Hogan announced Wednesday that James Fielder, who has served as his secretary of appointments, will take the place of Jennie Hunter-Cevera,

Hunter-Cevera, who was initially named to the post but did not get a confirmation vote from the state Senate earlier this year, will take on a new role as science advisor at the Maryland Department of the Environment.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Fewer than half of Maryland elementary and middle school students can pass tough new standardized tests and school officials are blaming a teaching and testing standards overhaul in recent years.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the results announced Tuesday show that teachers and students haven't adjusted to the higher expectations of the new Partnership for Assessments of Career and College Readiness.

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Another charter school could close in Delaware.

The Charter School Accountability Committee found that problems at The Delaware Met were significant enough to warrant moving the students in the middle of the school year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the problems ranged from safety and discipline issues to leadership financial and instruction problems.

There are around 210 students who attend the institution.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is joining Delaware education officials to announce the state's second round of Pathways to Prosperity grants.

Monday's announcement involves grants to high schools to offer students the opportunity to gain workplace experience and earn college credit in high-demand fields.

Those fields include finance, health care and information technology.

Markell proposed the initiative in his State of the State address earlier this year as a way to help prepare Delaware's future workforce.

Stony Brook University

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Stony Brook University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Dennis Assanis has been named president of the University of Delaware.

University trustees unanimously approved the appointment Wednesday following the unanimous recommendation of a 15-member search committee.

Assanis succeeds Patrick Harker, who resigned earlier this year to become president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

washcoll.edu

CHESTERTOWN, Md. (AP) - Washington College in Maryland has closed its campus until further notice after a student went missing after returning home to Pennsylvania to get a gun.

The college said in a statement Tuesday it would close after receiving new information from law enforcement. The school was closed Monday after a student's parents reported he retrieved a firearm and they were unable to reach him.

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County education leaders are moving forward with plans to eliminate high school final exams, despite teachers' concerns.

The Washington Post reports the school board backed a proposal to get rid of exams in September, and reaffirmed its decision at a meeting last week.

Starting next school year, 45-minute quarterly assessments will replace two-hour semester exams. Officials say this will mean two more weeks of instructional time a year because there will no longer be special exam weeks when teaching stops.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - About 2,000 former students in Virginia won't have to pay $2.3 million in outstanding loans for online courses of a Pittsburgh firm that runs for-profit trade schools and colleges.

Attorney General Mark Herring announced Virginia's portion of the agreement Monday with Education Management Corporation.

The U.S. Justice Department announced a $95.5 million settlement to resolve allegations that the corporation used enrollment incentives to pay its recruiters and exaggerated its career-placement ability.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An optional retirement plan for about 5,000 Virginia higher education employees is getting new management.

The Virginia Retirement System plans to switch the plan's management from TIAA-CREF and Fidelity to International City Management Association - Retirement Corp. The change will be effective in fall 2016.

Retirement system spokeswoman Jeanna Chenault told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the change is expected to reduce beneficiaries' fees and improve the plan's management.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Enrollment growth at Virginia's public colleges and universities is expected to slow over the next six years.

Overall, public four-year and two-year schools expect a 5 percent increase by the 2021-2022 academic year. Four schools anticipate a decline in enrollment.

The forecast is brighter at private, nonprofit higher education institutions. Enrollment growth at these schools is expected to grow by 32 percent.

The projected surge in private school enrollment is largely due to the growth of online programs at Regent and Liberty universities.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Democratic leaders are calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to restore about $68 million in education funding because the state's revenues have turned out better than expected.
 
House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller called on the Republican governor to make the change at a news conference Monday, pointing to the state's $320 million budget surplus this fiscal year.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - New results from tests known as the Nation's Report Card show across-the-board declines in performance by Maryland students.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says the results are a more honest assessment of where Maryland students stand than the test scores released under his Democratic predecessor, Martin O'Malley. Hogan says under O'Malley, the state excluded too many disabled students and English language learners from the tests, resulting in "misleading" numbers.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Fourth grade teacher Sandra Hall has been selected as Delaware's teacher of the year.
 
Hall was chosen to represent the state from a pool of 9,000 educators who were then narrowed down to 19 teachers representing each school district in the state.
 
During a banquet dinner, Hall said she became interested in education after her experience as a mother of two and as a military spouse, living overseas. Before she was a teacher, Hall said she worked in advertising.
 

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Those schools in Delaware where there is a substantial opt-out from the state assessments tests could find themselves facing penalties.

The U.S. Department of Education says states must have “consequences” for those schools which don’t have at least 95 percent participation in the assessment exams.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that one of those could be lowering the score of the schools that have low participation rates.

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The new chancellor for the University of Maryland stopped by Salisbury University yesterday as the school system faces some potentially tight budgets.

Chancellor Robert Caret was upbeat about the prospects of expanding attendance and keeping down costs for students.

But while he expects the University system budget for the next fiscal year to remain flat there could be some cuts and an increase in tuition in the years ahead.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware students' performance on a new standardized test linked to Common Core academic standards shows a continuing achievement gap between black students and other subgroups.

Statewide, barely half of Delaware students, 52 percent, showed proficiency in English language arts on the Smarter Balanced assessment. Less than 39 percent scored proficiently in math, including less than one-fourth of 11th graders.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Anne Arundel County Public Schools is proposing to replace end-of-semester high school final exams with quarterly assessments.
 
The Capital reports the school system will unveil a proposal Wednesday to replace the final exams with quarterly exams, which would take place about every nine weeks.
 
The proposal would also standardize and consolidate assessments in middle and elementary schools. It wouldn't affect students from pre-kindergarten to second grade.
 

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A new standardized test linked to Common Core academic standards is proving to be a challenge for Delaware school students.

First year results from the Smarter Balanced test released Wednesday show, on average, that barely half of Delaware students who tested are proficient in English language arts.

Statewide, less than 40 percent of students scored proficiently in math, including less than one-fourth of 11th graders.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A statewide business group says Delaware politicians need to take a hard look at cutting state spending.

The Delaware Business Roundtable issued a study Wednesday warning that unless officials take action, annual operating deficits could balloon to more than $600 million, or 11 percent of expenditures, by fiscal 2025.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Students are returning to the University of Delaware.
 
New students started checking in to residence halls on Saturday and returning students started arriving Sunday. Check in continues on Monday lasts until 3 p.m.

The school's 17,000 undergraduates and 3,600 graduate students don't have too long to get their housing in order. Classes at the university begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
 

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