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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.
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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.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | October 31, 2013
The planning is underway in Baltimore's $1 billion-plus, decade-long effort to bring public schools into the 21st century - in fact, there's a design expo at Morgan State University this weekend - which means we have entered a seminal period in the city's history. I'm sure that sounds grandiose. So let me concede a point to the jaded and the cynical who reject the possibility of The Next Big Thing ever coming to the Queen City of the Patapsco Drainage Basin. The city's long recovery from the loss of unionized manufacturing jobs and middle-class families, the epoch of drug addiction and violence, the years of declining schools and neighborhoods - all of that has left many of us (maybe most of us)
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2013
Baltimore County plans to overhaul its elementary school buildings to add more than 1,700 seats in its central and southwestern neighborhoods, where overcrowding has pushed students and teachers into portable classrooms and hallways for their lessons. The proposal announced Wednesday by schools Superintendent Dallas Dance calls for reopening Loch Raven Elementary and moving Catonsville Elementary to the Bloomsbury Community Center as well as additions and renovations at other sites.
NEWS
October 28, 2013
Baltimore City's interim schools chief, Tishsa Edwards, says the $10,000 "retention stipends" being given to seven top system administrators are needed as an incentive to keep the team of her predecessor, Andrés Alonso, intact until June, when a permanent schools CEO is scheduled to be named. But that's a lot of money for staffers who are already quite well paid for their services, and it raises the question of why they should need more to continue doing their jobs. Put another way, what exactly is the public getting for the money it's shelling out to keep a handful of managers at their desks for the next eight months?
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 15, 2013
Facing criticism from a struggling local business, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake defended the city's bottle tax Tuesday as essential to rebuilding Baltimore's schools. But the mayor acknowledged she would have to suspend a program that delivers fresh produce to poor neighborhoods because of the closing of the supermarket, Santoni's. Santoni's, an 83-year-old Highlandtown grocer, announced this week it would close its doors at the end of this month solely because of the city's bottled-beverage tax. Rob Santoni Jr., the company's chief financial officer, said he is in talks to bring in another supermarket and plans to run for a House of Delegates seat in Baltimore County to give small businesses a stronger voice in Annapolis.
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