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By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | April 10, 2014
The principal of a celebrated Baltimore high school has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government of nearly $2 million he received in a previous job to feed disadvantaged children, but used instead for other purposes, including leasing luxury cars and buying jewelry. Between 2007 and 2010, federal prosecutors say, Frederick Douglass High School principal Antonio Hurt submitted documents to a federal program in which he intentionally misstated the number of children and meals eligible for reimbursement in day care centers he owned and operated in Georgia.
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NEWS
April 14, 2014
City school officials facing a $31 million budget shortfall next year have proposed dipping into the system's rainy day fund to close the gap. But that's not what those dollars are supposed to be for. The whole point of setting aside emergency funds is to cushion the impact of major unanticipated disruptions, from natural disasters to sudden economic crises. They're not a backstop for the kind of foreseeable, year-to-year budgetary ups and downs that ought to be part of the routine planning process, and using them that way would set a terrible precedent for the future.
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NEWS
By Baltimore Sun reporter | March 16, 2010
Transparency should be the rule, especially with organizations supported by public funds. It seems as if the officials and governing body of the Baltimore City Public Schools raised the draw bridge without granting public access regarding the obvious and odorous actions of a principal who was pressuring Filipino teachers to purchase Mary Kay cosmetics ("School system defends response," March 16). Who will watch the watchers? McNair Taylor, Baltimore
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2014
The search for the next superintendent of Anne Arundel County's public schools has been an exercise filled with numbers. It's been nine months since Kevin Maxwell left the job for a similar post in Prince George's County, and one month since interim Superintendent Mamie Perkins announced that she wouldn't seek the permanent job. From a field of 55 applicants, 12 were invited for a round of interviews. The list was then narrowed to seven candidates who went through a second round of interviews, and from that field the school system selected three finalists who have been reviewed by a committee of 20 school, community and professional representatives.
EXPLORE
August 24, 2012
I was sorry to read of Mamie Perkins' retirement from the Howard County Public Schools. She proved her ability when she was deputy superintendent during the absence of Sydney Cousin. I heard no complaints about her leadership, ability or loyalty to the educational system of Howard County. In reading the article ("Deputy superintendent retires from school system," Aug. 9), I was amazed that a person with her experience (39 years) was not promoted to the position of superintendent and feel that Howard County lost an extremely qualified leader.
EXPLORE
May 6, 2013
The Board of Education of Harford County is seeking applications from interested county citizens to fill one opening on the school system's Audit Committee. The purpose of the five-member committee is to assist the board in fulfilling its fiduciary oversight responsibilities. The committee serves as an independent and objective party to monitor the school system's financial reporting process and internal controls. The committee meets at least quarterly to review financial performance and may meet annually, in separate sessions, with management, the internal auditor and the external auditor.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2010
Principal Rhonda Richetta can vividly recall days when students have come to her office door at City Springs School gasping for air. The school has a large population of asthmatic elementary- and middle-school-age students who receive critical services — including daily breathing treatments — from a nurse practitioner in its health center. Richetta fears that could change next year if the school is one of six that are slated to reduce their health care services because of proposed funding cuts from the city.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2014
The search for the next superintendent of Anne Arundel County's public schools has been an exercise filled with numbers. It's been nine months since Kevin Maxwell left the job for a similar post in Prince George's County, and one month since interim Superintendent Mamie Perkins announced that she wouldn't seek the permanent job. From a field of 55 applicants, 12 were invited for a round of interviews. The list was then narrowed to seven candidates who went through a second round of interviews, and from that field the school system selected three finalists who have been reviewed by a committee of 20 school, community and professional representatives.
NEWS
Erica L. Green and Erica L. Green | April 8, 2014
Baltimore city school officials presented Tuesday a budget scenario that could call for "considerable staff layoffs and de-funding key contracts that serve schools" if a $31 million deficit is not closed. In a presentation to the city school board, which can be viewed here , school officials unveiled the first draft of how revenues and expenditures are shaping up for next year. The actual budget for fiscal year 2015 will not be presented until next month, when it also has to be adopted.
EXPLORE
June 4, 2012
As Dr. Cousin's duty as school superintendent comes to a close, I wanted to recognize his leadership over the past eight years. Dr. Cousin has always had a commitment to continuous improvement for central and building administration. His clear and explicit goals have increased student achievement across the county. What stands out the most to me is Dr. Cousin's belief that all students can achieve under the right conditions. His leadership has provided adequate support services to make schools an overall learning environment for both students and employees.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2014
A slowdown in revenue has Baltimore school officials scrambling for budget adjustments that won't require the system to raid its rainy-day fund or cut central office positions and school programs. Officials face a $31 million deficit in next year's budget, due to factors that include a dried up stream of grant funding, fluctuating financial commitments and a halt to rapid growth in enrollment. Now, the school board has asked administrators to come up with alternatives to their proposed budget reductions, which included staff layoffs, breaking contracts and cutbacks to summer school.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | April 10, 2014
As contract negotiations between county schools and the teachers union continue to focus on salary adjustments, union officials have encouraged teachers to take part in two school-day activities they believe will drum up community support for the union. But Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose has questioned teachers' involvement in such actions, saying she's concerned such displays could leave "a bad taste in the mouth of public opinion. " The union has orchestrated teacher activities it said were designed to take its message to the community.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | April 10, 2014
The principal of a celebrated Baltimore high school has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government of nearly $2 million he received in a previous job to feed disadvantaged children, but used instead for other purposes, including leasing luxury cars and buying jewelry. Between 2007 and 2010, federal prosecutors say, Frederick Douglass High School principal Antonio Hurt submitted documents to a federal program in which he intentionally misstated the number of children and meals eligible for reimbursement in day care centers he owned and operated in Georgia.
NEWS
Erica L. Green and Erica L. Green | April 8, 2014
Baltimore city school officials presented Tuesday a budget scenario that could call for "considerable staff layoffs and de-funding key contracts that serve schools" if a $31 million deficit is not closed. In a presentation to the city school board, which can be viewed here , school officials unveiled the first draft of how revenues and expenditures are shaping up for next year. The actual budget for fiscal year 2015 will not be presented until next month, when it also has to be adopted.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
Baltimore County police are investigating the posting of nude images of high school students who reportedly attend Milford Mill Academy, though a police spokeswoman said no crime may have been committed because the students are adults. The Instagram account contains pictures of a male student and a female student who are both at least 18, according to spokeswoman Elise Armacost "They're not juveniles," Armacost said. "That makes a big difference when you're talking about a police investigation, because there's not child pornography" if subjects are 18 or older.
NEWS
Editorial from The Aegis | April 3, 2014
The Harford County public school system included seven days in the academic calendar this school year as potential makeup days in case of snow. Turns out, the school system ended up canceling classes 11 times (or 12 if the state doesn't allow the two and a half hour day to count), which means if the school year ends on June 12, Harford County students will not have attended classes for the requisite 180 days required by state standards. The school system, therefore, has requested a waiver from the Maryland State Board of Education, which has authorized the state superintendent to grant or deny such waivers.
EXPLORE
Editorial from The Aegis | June 13, 2013
Harford County Public Schools leadership has left the realm of reality as it applies to budget management. The decision that no doubt will be getting the most attention in the coming weeks is a recommendation by the administration, and approved by the board of education, to levy fees against students who participate in after school programs ranging from athletics to band to yearbook. This is a terrible idea, and one that could well result in less money being collected through extracurricular activities than comes in at present.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2012
The Baltimore County school board Tuesday night voted to approve numerous retirements and resignations, including those of two employees who signed contracts with the former superintendent that a union official and others have questioned. But the board did not discuss in public the fact that those two employees had negotiated a settlement and will be paid more than $150,000 total. The Sun reported last month that Baltimore County school Superintendent Joe A. Hairston had given two top aides employment contracts that promised them severance of almost a half-million dollars if they were fired when the new superintendent chose his own leadership team.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, Jessica Anderson and Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | April 3, 2014
Amid reports of an "active shooter" on campus Monday, Stevenson University students threw their desks against the classroom door, then prayed with near-strangers under computer carts. Just three days later, elementary and middle school students at KIPP charter schools in Baltimore were hiding with their teachers in a classroom, while police searched the building for a gunman and hundreds of parents rushed to a nearby school to wait anxiously for word about their children. There was no real danger to students or teachers in either incident.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
The Anne Arundel County school system will need to make up two school days missed this year to inclement weather after receiving a waiver from the state Department of Education on Wednesday. The school system had built four inclement weather days into its state-mandated 180-day school calendar, but used five additional days during an unseasonably cold and protracted winter. It was among several counties statewide that requested waivers from the state from the mandated calendar. The school system initially asked to have all five days forgiven, but last week state Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery denied that request.
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