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NEWS
April 28, 2012
Data-stream around Grandpa, youngsters 2.1 and 3.1, while he tells you about the time long, long ago when a certain elected official grew so nostalgic about a time even longer ago when Labor Day marked the beginning of the school year. Way back in the last millenium, people always knew that public schools started the day after Labor Day. Why begin classes that Tuesday? Well, probably because the school calendar was based on the farm calendar and the growing season. It might also have just been a convenient date.
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NEWS
April 19, 2012
No sooner had Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold unveiled his proposed budget for next year than Superintendent Kevin Maxwell was complaining that the schools were being shortchanged by $12 million. It was the latest salvo in a long-running feud between the two men over what it really means for the county to maintain its state requirements for school funding. It's not entirely clear which one is right about the law. But what is clear is that the General Assembly was right to approve legislation this year adding specificity and teeth to its maintenance of effort law. The argument between Messrs.
NEWS
By Andrew Brownstein | April 16, 2012
For the casual visitor, it's easy to miss that Southeast High School in rural Kansas — once among the lowest academic performers in the state — is in the midst of a profound transformation. Like so many other Kansas schools, the building in Cherokee (population: 722) shows the telltale signs of a suffering economy. Bus routes have been cut, as have supplies. Custodians, secretaries and cafeteria workers took an eight-day pay cut. During the harsh winters, students bundle up to make it through classes where the temperature hovers at an uncomfortable, but cost-saving 68 degrees.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | April 16, 2012
Anne Arundel County residents would see their property taxes increase under the $1.2 billion budget proposed Monday by County Executive John R. Leopold, but that would be partially offset by a drop in trash pickup frequency and fees. County workers, meanwhile, would see an end to furloughs but receive no raises. Leopold's spending plan for the year that begins July 1 includes boosting the tax rate from 91 cents to 94.1 cents per $100 of assessed value. For a home with an assessed value of $261,200, the forecast countywide average, taxes would go up by about $128 for the year, officials said.
NEWS
April 9, 2012
Students who drop out before completing high school will have a harder time finding and keeping a job, and they will earn less money when they do. They will be more likely to spend time in prison, will be sicker and will die sooner than those with diplomas. And they will cost local, state and federal governments billions in increased social service costs. There was a time when it was possible to live a productive, middle class life without graduating from high school, but in the 21st Century, not even that will be sufficient.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2012
Baltimore schools chief Andrés Alonso's ambitious plan to leverage state dollars to finance $1.2 billion in school renovation and construction will not move forward in the General Assembly this year. Instead of passing a bill that would jump-start such a program, the legislature will order a study of school construction financing between now and the 2013 Assembly session. The House Appropriations Committee voted Friday to adopt language in the Senate capital budget bill spelling out the goals and parameters of the study.
EXPLORE
March 29, 2012
I am impressed and somewhat alarmed at the media blitz financed by the MSEA and the HCEA promoting their candidates for the Howard County Board of Education. Given that it is the Board of Education who negotiates our teachers, salary, benefits and pensions (that will soon be correctly our obligation, not the state's, to fund), am I the only one who sees a fox guarding the henhouse issue here? Given the next board may be making some very tough choices requiring that school funding be reduced so as to fund the obligations to the pension fund, I would prefer members with no particular allegiance.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 23, 2012
The General Assembly has approved a tough new law that will require Maryland's counties and Baltimore to keep up a minimum level of education spending or risk having the state withhold part of their annual tax collections and ship the money directly to local school boards. The House of Delegates voted 93-44 on Friday to give final approval to the bill, sending it to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who said he will sign it. The Senate passed the bill last week. "While the state was investing more and more, the counties were investing less and less," O'Malley said Friday.
NEWS
By Louis R. Cestello, Ronald J. Daniels and Thomas E. Wilcox | March 19, 2012
Baltimore has the potential to again be the state's greatest economic engine. Investments in education, in particular, have the power to convert a tsunami of need into a rising tide of productivity. And the Maryland General Assembly has the opportunity to leverage newly proposed legislative options to steer the course to a more prosperous future. House and Senate committees recently heard arguments for an innovative bond financing mechanism to jump-start much-needed repairs and upgrades in city schools.
NEWS
February 29, 2012
Maryland's constitution mandates that every student have access to an adequate (indeed, "thorough" is how it's described) education. Court cases have backed this up, and the state legislature's response was the Bridge to Excellence in Education Act, more commonly known as the "Thornton" funding that ensured even the state's poorest jurisdictions had enough money for K-12 schools. Crucial to this transfer of tax dollars from the state to local school systems was the assurance that Baltimore and the 23 counties would maintain their share of that financial responsibility, too. Otherwise, the $1.3 billion in Thornton assistance would not provide a boost to schools but merely give local governments an opportunity to slack.
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