Montgomery College adding $75M student center to its Rockville campus

Montgomery College is nearly ready to break ground on a $75 million construction project that will include a new student center on its main campus in Rockville. This is a rendering of the new student center planned for Montgomery College in Rockville. The student center will consolidate a number of student life programs in a four-story building off North Campus Drive. The community college is eyeing a May groundbreaking after a final construction contract with Grunley Construction Co. of Rockville is approved by the Maryland Department of Public Works, said Sandra Filippi, acting director of campus planning. The cost of the project is being shared by Montgomery County and the state. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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BCCC again seeks developer for prime Bard Building site

Baltimore City Community College has again put out a call for the redevelopment of the prime Bard Building site downtown. A request for proposals for the redevelopment of the 1.1-acre site located at 600 block of E. Lombard St. has been issued by BCCC, which owns the property in conjunction with the state of Maryland. Bids could include a development plan for both the Bard Building and adjacent Holocaust Memorial, which would total 2.3 acres and encompasses an entire city block. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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March 17 // Maryland House moves to curb suspensions, expulsions of young pupils

The House of Delegates approved legislation Thursday that would significantly curb the practice of suspending or expelling the youngest public school students without first taking other steps to improve their behavior. The measure now goes to the state Senate, where a committee approved a similar bill Thursday. Delegates voted 91-48 for the House measure, which bars the suspension or expulsion of prekindergarten, kindergarten, first and second grades students except in narrow circumstances — such as bringing a gun to school. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Senate moves to give mayor control of Baltimore school board

The Maryland Senate unanimously voted Thursday to grant Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh sole authority to appoint and dismiss members of the city school board. Granting mayoral control to Pugh was the former state senator's top priority for the General Assembly session, which ends in about three weeks. The House of Delegates has not advanced the measure yet. Currently, the mayor and governor share responsibility for picking and removing board members. The legislation also proposes to transfer the role of picking a pool of school board candidates. A new panel would do that job, which is currently done by the state's school board. (Balt. Sun)

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University of Maryland receives $1.5 million to create health care innovation center

A pair of medicine and nursing alumni have made a $1.5 million gift to the University of Maryland's Health Science & Human Services Library to establish a health care innovation center. The center intends to provide an encouraging environment where doctors, medical students, nurses and other practitioners think in new ways about how to improve the doctor-patient relationship as a means of improving health care delivery, according to university officials who announced the funding Thursday. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel school board member advocates for professor's bus routing model

In support of delayed school start times, an Anne Arundel County Board of Education member wants the school system to work with a transportation engineering professor to improve school bus routes. Maria Sasso, the board's most vocal advocate for delaying school start times, met with University of Maryland, College Park professor Ali Haghani this month to discuss how his model for mapping bus routes can reduce travel time, cut costs and push back school start times. (Capital)

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Teen barred from basketball game over hijab

A nationwide high school basketball rule is coming under fire after a local teen was kept from playing in a game for wearing a hijab. Sixteen-year-old Je’Nan Hayes was sitting on the sideline of the regional championship game between her school, Watkins Mill High School and Oxon Hill High School on March 3. Hayes was waiting for her number to be called, but she never made it on the court. “And then my coach had pulled me aside and she had said that she was sorry that I couldn't play, but there was a rule, a state rule saying that I had to have a letter from the state to play with my hijab on,” Je’Nan said. (WMAR)

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County-initiated audit of Howard schools released ahead of budget season

As local officials grapple with how to fund the school system's record-high budget request this year, the county's auditors released a long-anticipated report on the school system's finances. In their review of financial statements for special education, the health and dental fund and legal services, the auditors found the school system generally complied with all procedures. State law limits the scope of the financial audit, which purely verifies transactions, traces payments to contracts and reviews other financial statements. (Balt. Sun)

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