FCPS budget approved with some extra requests

Frederick County Public Schools’ 2021 operating budget received unanimous approval by the Board of Education on Wednesday, but with some add-ons. The budget, which will now be sent to the county executive’s office, includes an additional $6.2 million worth of requests. These requests have been discussed from the beginning as “extras” and include funding for a replacement cycle of student Chromebooks and professional development for staff. First brought up by board member Michael Bunitsky, the board decided to send Superintendent Terry Alban’s proposed $683 million budget as is while making a note that these extra requests are still priorities and needs of the school system. (News-Post)

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Bill would let Md. student-athletes profit from their likeness

A bill that would allow college athletes at public universities in Maryland to be compensated for their name, image and likeness met a skeptical reception at a Senate hearing Wednesday, with the committee’s chair calling for further study. The Maryland legislation follows the passage of a California law last year that allowed athletes to be compensated. That law has forced the NCAA to say it would update its policies to allow student-athletes to be paid for their likenesses. In Maryland, the legislation has attracted bipartisan support, much like it has across the country. Sen. Justin Ready, R-Carroll, and Del. Brooke Lierman, D-Baltimore, have sponsored the measure, titled the Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Play Act after the University of Maryland football player who died last year. (Daily Record)

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Del. Kerr proposes amendment to tuition assistance bill

Del. Ken Kerr's (D-Frederick) bill offering tuition assistance to students with an associate degree is supported by local higher education institutions, but the second-year lawmaker has added an amendment that aims to offer more scholarship assistance. Kerr's proposal, House Bill 167, allows students statewide to attend a nonprofit institution of higher learning at the same cost as an average four-year rate for tuition and fees for public colleges and universities throughout Maryland’s higher education system. In Frederick County, that means students could attend Hood College or Mount St. Mary's University. (News-Post)

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Baltimore seeks redevelopment ideas for its vacant, former schools

Six Baltimore public school properties could soon be up for grabs for redevelopment. The schools are now considered surplus because they have been or will soon be replaced under the massive, $1.1 billion 21st Century Schools program. The city Department of Housing and Community Development put out a call for "expressions of interest" earlier this week as it seeks to find new uses for the properties. The deadline for the expression of interest concepts is March 30 and DHCD could release a request for proposals in the spring, agency officials said. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Washington County school bus driver awarded first-ever support personnel award

Cynthia Lyons, a school bus driver for Washington County Public Schools, said she considers the students she transports “precious cargo.” Her love and dedication to the job has earned Lyons the first Educational Support Personnel of the Year award. The new award comes courtesy of the Washington County Public Schools Education Foundation. Lyons received her award Wednesday night during a special ceremony at the Hagerstown Elks Lodge off Robinwood Drive. “I’m very much appreciative just to be nominated,” Lyons said in an interview before the announcement. “I’m very appreciative. It’s like a dream.” (Herald-Mail)

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Teacher unions, gun-control advocates urge changes to active-shooter drills, citing student trauma

In schools across the nation, students prepare for the worst-case scenario: a gunman firing on them and their classmates. As part of safety drills, many are learning how to hide in closets with their teachers, how to keep quiet and how to barricade doors — anything to increase their chances of survival. (Wash Post)

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Baltimore County Teachers Protest For Better Contracts

Teachers in Baltimore County rallied Tuesday evening to demand better contracts from the school board. The teachers’ union said they are currently negotiating a contract with the school board for the next school year. They say the superintendent’s billion-dollar budget doesn’t do enough to support teachers. (WJZ-TV)

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Baltimore’s Boys’ Latin School adding boarding for students after purchasing adjacent property

The Boys’ Latin School, a 175-year-old North Baltimore private school, has purchased 28 acres of an adjacent property in Poplar Hill with plans to use it to add boarding and expand environmental programs. School leaders announced Tuesday that they plan to open the area’s only seven-day boarding school for boys on land formerly owned by the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, an order of Catholic priests and brothers. (Balt Sun)

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