Two moms, one invitation to Mother’s Day tea. Was the school being fair?

The instructions on the invitation for the Mother’s Day tea party were explicit. “One (1) Mother or Mother Figure per child.” Annissia Hawkins and her ex-wife, Tiana, were stunned. They tried to give National Christian Academy, the Maryland private school their son had attended for three years, the benefit of the doubt. After all, they said, the teachers and other parents were always welcoming. But they couldn’t help wondering whether their “same-gender loving family” was being singled out. (Wash. Post)

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Aldermen brainstorm ways to help reduce school crowding

From 2008 to 2017, the percentage of students at Hillcrest Elementary in the city of Frederick jumped from 89 percent capacity to 135 percent. But within that time, hardly any new homes were built in the area that filters students into the school. That phenomenon, mixed with a laundry list of other factors that go into the detailed and intricate schools portion of the city’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, is the reason why developers say a simple solution to improving the legislation does not exist. (News Post)

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Anne Arundel County can bypass the tax cap to raise education funds

Anne Arundel County’s tax cap is not impenetrable. In fact, it is quite permeable as a law tucked into the Maryland Code allows counties to bypass their tax caps as long as the money raised is strictly related to education spending. Prince George’s and Talbot counties have taken advantage of the option, though residents in those counties challenged those decisions. County Executive Steuart Pittman has talked often about his desire to boost education funding. Bypassing the tax cap could raise money to pay for a variety of education needs, but it is likely to anger voters as the cap was implemented in 1994 by referendum vote. (Balt. Sun)

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A top D.C. charter school faces federal review over discipline practices

One of the District’s highest-performing charter schools is under federal investigation amid allegations it more harshly disciplines African American students. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights launched a probe into potentially biased discipline practices at BASIS DC — a middle and high school in downtown Washington with a long waiting list. The school, known for its rigorous academics, is part of an Arizona-based chain of charter schools. Education Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill confirmed the probe but said her agency does not comment on open investigations. (Wash. Post)

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Hogan appoints former Howard County state lawmaker to Maryland school board

Gov. Larry Hogan has nominated former Howard County state senator Gail Bates to the State Board of Education. If confirmed by the Senate, she will serve as a board member until 2024. Bates served in the House of Delegates between 2002 and 2010 and in the Senate between 2014 and 2018. She served District 9, which includes parts of Howard and Carroll counties. In November she lost her bid for re-election to Democratic newcomer Katie Fry Hester. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel officials want 'flexibility' setting school calendar

Anne Arundel County students saw their spring break cut in half. Parents have one less day to schedule parent-teacher conferences, compared to the 2016-17 school year. The school calendar can accommodate three — not five — inclement weather days. These changes have occurred since the 2016-17 school year, after Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order mandating school begin after Labor Day and end by June 15. The Anne Arundel County Board of Education supports legislation that would overturn that order, and give local school boards the ability to decide when to start and end school. (Balt. Sun)

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Catholic Girl’s School In Baltimore Holds Active Shooter Training

Students at a Baltimore girl’s school got a potentially life-saving lesson Friday when they learned how to react to an active shooter. They say, be it a fire or an active shooter, they want their students to know how to protect themselves, and if they have to, how to save their own lives. Inside a historic Catholic girl’s school in the heart of Baltimore, students trained to prepare for a situation no student should have to face but so many have. (WJZ-TV)

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W.Va. lawmakers propose bill to shorten school year to 170 days

Most kids in the United States are mandated to receive 180 days of instruction in a school year. West Virginia currently follows suit, with a 180-day school calendar in place. However, last week a new bill was introduced in the state Legislature proposing a shorter school year for West Virginia students. House Bill 2963, introduced Feb. 11, proposes dialing back West Virginia’s 180-day school calendar to 170 days. The National Center for Education Statistics reports 29 states mandate 180 days of instruction for students, including California, New York, the District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, to name a few. (Times-News)

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