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Waivers

NEWS
March 29, 2014
I find it a little infuriating that schools are asking for waivers to circumvent the 180-day law ( "Snowed in," March 27). Our schools are woefully behind other countries in testing, language skills, mathematics and sciences. You would think our teachers and administrators (which are the highest paid in the world) would welcome the opportunity to get as much teaching time as possible. I am a school bus driver for Baltimore County Public Schools and what I see every day is our education system bending over backward to promulgate the facade of quality academia.
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NEWS
March 29, 2014
In response to the letter, "Religion no excuse to ignore ACA" (March 26), if the U.S. should treat all entities equally and apply Obamacare as the law was written, then let's abolish all waivers the administration has allowed thus far, including those accorded to some unions and select businesses. After all, those institutions simply didn't want to comply with the law, rather than voice objections on grounds of religious principals as has been done by the Little Sisters of the Poor or Hobby Lobby.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2014
Maryland Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery informed Anne Arundel County on Friday that she will not waive five days of school for the district because of snow this year. As a result, Anne Arundel spokesman Bob Mosier said, the school district has decided to ask Lowery to allow the county to open schools on Easter Monday, making up one of the five days it needs to meet the requirement that students be in session for 180 days a year. "So, we set about trying to make what adjustments we could now," Mosier said.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2014
A Maryland school superintendent wouldn't ordinarily give local systems a pass on the requirement that public school students go to school for 180 days a year. But these have not been ordinary times. The seemingly endless winter, with its unusual number of snow days, has raised the specter of students going to school into the last week of June. On Tuesday, the State Board of Education offered a way out. As light snow fell outside their meeting room, board members voted to give Superintendent Lillian Lowery the authority to waive up to five days of school this year for public schools and two days for private schools.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2014
I thought one of the more intriguing stories heading into this spring was what the Orioles would do with lefty Zach Britton, who is out of minor league options. I'm thinking the intrigue is over now. Britton was supposed to battle for a spot in the starting rotation. Orioles manager Buck Showalter still isn't officially ruling him out for that role at this point. But when the club signed Ubaldo Jimenez, Britton's battle for the rotation was basically over. Britton said earlier this spring he talked with new pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti about a program that would ready him for the bullpen.
NEWS
March 6, 2014
Maryland's health care system faces its greatest transformation in a generation - not because of the state's troubled health insurance exchange or even directly because of the Affordable Care Act but because of a change in the state's decades-old system for compensating hospitals. Under the terms of Maryland's newly updated waiver to Medicare rules, hospitals will make profits by keeping people well and out of their wards rather than by admitting them and treating them when they get sick.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2014
SARASOTA, FLA. -- The Orioles made their four-year deal with right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez official on Wednesday afternoon, setting the stage for a Thursday morning press conference to introduce the club's top free-agent acquisition. To make room on the 40-man roster for Jimenez, the Orioles designated right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks for assignment. “We're looking forward to him joining,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.  “I'm not going to say [he's] competing for a starting job. I don't want to insult your intelligence.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and By Liz Bowie | February 14, 2014
Maryland was given a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education on Friday that will allow them to avoid double testing several thousand students who are piloting a new test this spring that is tied to the Common Core. Under federal law, all students in grades three through eight are to be tested annually in math and reading. The federal government is allowing that law to be waived for the students who take the pilot test, meaning they will not also have to take Maryland's state assessments.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | February 12, 2014
It will soon be payback time for Maryland students who have spent those lazy snow days sleeping until 10 a.m., playing with friends and sledding. Twenty-two of Maryland's 24 school districts have already plowed through the days they build into their annual calendars for snow and bad-weather closings, according to an unofficial tally by state education officials made before this week's storm. State law requires students to go to school for 180 days.     See updated closings for Thursday So if the snow falls as predicted and schools close a day or two this week, local superintendents will have to start adding days.
HEALTH
Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
A top official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Friday that a state plan to reduce hospital visits could serve as a national model for curbing costs while improving patient outcomes. Deputy Administrator and Director Jonathan Blum said the approach could disprove the notion that quality health care must be expensive. While other programs already have shown this across the country, he said, Maryland would be the first to test the premise statewide. "We want Maryland to be the basis for other states ... to test the boundaries of what it means to lower total cost of care and boost total quality of care," Blum said.
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