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NEWS
By Jon Meoli, jmeoli@tribune.com | February 12, 2014
Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance faced questions last week from the Baltimore County Planning Board and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot regarding the controversial central area elementary school construction plan. "The reason we're asking the questions is before the county and state spend $31 million when all we're hearing is community upset about the scenario, we want to make sure we've explored every option for spending the right way," said Scott Jenkins, a member of the Baltimore County Planning Board.
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NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | February 9, 2014
County Executive Laura Neuman, House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, state Sen. Edward Reilly and other Anne Arundel County lawmakers joined school officials this week in petitioning the state Board of Public Works for more funding for school projects, namely $25 million to begin reconstruction for Severna Park High School. At the so-called beg-a-thon for statewide school money, state comptroller and Public Works board member Peter Franchot read from emails he'd received that depicted Severna Park High as "unsafe, unhealthy for children … and literally falling apart.
NEWS
By Hugh Bethell | February 5, 2014
The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners is currently interviewing for a new CEO. On behalf of downtown parents with children in city schools, I'd like to suggest a few traits the new hire should not have: Patience: Our school system made remarkable strides while Andrés Alonso was in charge, but we still have a long way to go. Graduation rates have improved, but thousands still leave the system without basic skills. Test scores are better, but there is still an unacceptable gap between white middle class students and almost everyone else.
NEWS
February 5, 2014
Thanks to reporter Jon Meoli for his balanced article, "No Accord on Loch Raven Elementary" in the Jan. 22 issue of the Towson Times. We are writing because although we believe the story fairly reported Superintendent Dallas Dance's position, the article fell short in several ways from the perspective of the four community members representing the Loch Raven Village and Knettishall communities. The two primary concerns articulated by Dr. Dance in the article are that our children will not be able attend the new school and our community programs will be displaced.
NEWS
January 30, 2014
Your recent editorial pooh-poohing expanding to other counties the innovative school construction model the legislature approved for Baltimore City missed the mark by a wide margin ("School construction apples and oranges," Jan. 14). I didn't vote for the Baltimore plan because the city is a special case (although, in some other important ways, it is). I voted for it because the plan made fiscal, educational and economic sense for taxpayers and for kids. The state school construction program, a progressive innovation in the 1970s when Governor Marvin Mandel and the legislature created it, needs updating.
NEWS
By Jon Meoli, jmeoli@tribune.com | January 28, 2014
Towson community leaders and school advocates are taking stock of the recent announcement that Cromwell Valley Elementary will change from a countywide magnet school to a neighborhood school with a magnet program - the latest piece of the school system's central area overcrowding relief plan. "We don't have all the answers, so right now, we're kind of rolling with it," Tamee Bollanger, president of the Campus Hills Community Association, said. Cromwell Valley Elementary is in the Campus Hills neighborhood of Towson.
NEWS
By Jon Meoli, jmeoli@tribune.com | January 21, 2014
Representatives from the Loch Raven Village and the Knettishall communities emerged from a meeting Friday with Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance as strident as ever in their opposition to a plan calling for reopening a school at the site of the former Loch Raven Elementary despite assurances that a revised plan addresses some of their concerns. "We heard their feedback and aside from just not doing the school, which would be their ultimate goal, we adjusted our thinking of what it should look like based on what they said to us," Dance said in an interview after the meeting.
NEWS
Tim Wheeler and Michael Dresser | January 14, 2014
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined his counterparts from Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Annapolis Tuesday to appeal for more state funding for school construction, saying they need help coping with rising enrollments. Speaking for all three, Kamenetz warned that whatever success Maryland has had in providing quality education to the state's students is in jeopardy unless the state's most populous counties can expand and upgrade their aging, crowded schools.
NEWS
January 14, 2014
The county executives from Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's counties went to Annapolis today to present a united front in an effort to get the state to commit to a long-term, enhanced funding stream to help them build and renovate schools. Though they did not make it an explicit part of their pitch, the unmistakable subtext for lawmakers was the state's decision last year to commit to just such an arrangement with Baltimore City. If the state was willing to commit $20 million a year to support more than $1 billion in construction borrowing for the city, why not for three counties that together comprise 44 percent of the state's schoolchildren?
NEWS
November 1, 2013
While it may not be in the interest of Baltimore City public school students that the school board will no longer guarantee loans for public charter school renovations, the larger question is whether city will use its $1.1 billion capital improvement fund to provide facilities for more children to attend high-performing public charter and traditional public schools ( "City's charter schools call new policy 'discouraging,'" Oct. 25). In other words, the best way for the school board to use the money is to increase the number of children attending programs that are already leading students to achieve at high levels.
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