Community calls for full funding of MCPS budget

Community members’ message on Wednesday night was clear: The school district and county government should fully fund the next Montgomery County Public Schools operating budget.
Dozens of people testified in support of the budget during a hearing in Rockville, calling for funding for more school counselors, arts programming, special education services and expanded support for English language learners. (Bethesda)

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School board approves plans for DuFief Elementary School replacement

The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved a $30 million project to rebuild DuFief Elementary School in Gaithersburg. The project will increase the facility’s capacity from about 430 students to 750 students, according to project documents. This year, DuFief has an enrollment of about 315 students. The new school will sit in the “approximate location of the existing building with a significant reduction in the building’s footprint,” according to project documents. A bus loop will be west of the school. (Bethesda)

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New Salisbury University program will train students in data interpretation

Data interpretation plays a subtle, yet crucial role in our daily lives — it's used anywhere from studying human behavior to forecasting the daily weather. Now, Salisbury University students can get a degree in the field.A new discipline, called data science, is offered through the university's Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, according to an SU news release. The program trains students to interpret, analyze and manipulate data. (Delmarva)

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Baltimore wins piece of $10M Fannie Mae award to create temporary housing network model for homeless students

Baltimore’s housing department and a local education consulting firm have won a portion of a $10 million award from Fannie Mae to determine whether a network of temporary housing located near schools and coupled with social services can improve educational outcomes for young children experiencing homelessness.Designed for families with students enrolled in prekindergarten through third grade, the model the consulting firm will design and develop could be turned into a pilot program and eventually scaled throughout the city. (Balt. Sun)

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Mental health seen as priority in Frederick County school system's budget

Frederick County Public Schools is asking for about $5 million to fund 10 new positions related to mental health. It is one of the larger requests in the superintendent’s proposed $683 million fiscal 2021 budget, which the Board of Education and FCPS staff discussed in detail at a work session this week. The Department of Student Services, which recently began to oversee mental health and psychological services, presented its proposed budget, which includes the request for more mental health positions.  “Our vision is simple,” Dana Falls, director of student services, told the school board. “Our role is to remove the obstacles that prevent students from being the best learner.” (News-Post)

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Boundary analysis debate draws 350 in Germantown

On a rainy night on Tuesday in Germantown, approximately 350 people flocked to Northwest High School to learn more about an ongoing countywide boundary analysis started last year by Montgomery County Public Schools. The meeting was sometimes tense as people skeptical of the process asked questions of consultants and MCPS officials, but overall the discourse was cordial. In January 2019, the Montgomery County Board of Education authorized a comprehensive, independent review of all school boundaries throughout the county. The goal, school district officials say, is to gather data to help inform decisions during future boundary studies, typically authorized when a new school is built or an existing school undergoes an expansion project. (Bethesda)

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Baltimore wins $10M Fannie Mae grant to create temporary housing network pilot program for young homeless students

Baltimore’s housing department and a local education consulting firm have won a $10 million grant from Fannie Mae to determine whether a network of temporary housing located near schools and coupled with social services can improve educational outcomes for young children experiencing homelessness. Designed for families with students enrolled in prekindergarten through third grade, the consulting firm will design and develop a model that could be turned into a pilot program and eventually scaled throughout the city. The city’s Department of Housing and Community Development and its partner, UPD Consulting, won the two-year grant from Fannie Mae’s Sustainable Innovation Challenge initiative, which solicited ideas to combat the country’s affordable housing crisis. (Balt. Sun)

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Howard University receives $2.5M African American art collection

Howard University has received an African American art collection valued at more than $2.5 million. The collection comes from the family of the late Ronald Walters, who served 25 years as a professor in Howard’s political science department. He also chaired the department for nine years. His wife, Patricia Turner Walters, made the gift to the university, Howard announced last week. The gift includes 152 pieces of art, including sculptures, paintings, photographs and prints from various movements such as the Harlem Renaissance. The collection, built between the late 1980s and 2000s, features works by Edward M. Bannister, Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Robert S. Duncanson, Grafton Tyler Brown, Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall and Barkley Hendricks. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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