Students engage with social issues at Dramafest

While Dramafest celebrates the joy and fun of theater each year for students across the county, this year, in addition to honoring their craft, students had the opportunity to see and use theater as a reflection of the world around them. Students from each of Carroll's seven high schools took the stage at Carroll Community College on Friday morning to show off scenes from their spring productions, allowing everyone an opportunity to see what their fellow actors and creators have put together, including scenes from "West Side Story," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "The Little Mermaid" and more. (Carr. Co. Times)

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April 21 // Boycott by Hogan officials puts $113 million in school construction money in limbo

At Gov. Larry Hogan's behest, two Cabinet members boycotted a meeting of a little-known state committee Thursday, effectively putting on hold at least $113 million worth of school construction projects across the state. A Hogan spokesman said that was an unintended consequence of a deliberately orchestrated protest. "We're not holding it up indefinitely," Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said. "Our intention today was to make a public protest of something that we believe is unconstitutional." (Balt. Sun)

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Couple gives $5.5 million to Salisbury University

Dave Rommel was hesitant to be thrust into the limelight, but it was unavoidable — his family's gift to Salisbury University was too big to fly under the radar. The low-key businessman had fulfilled his dream and followed in his father's footsteps as an electrician, joining the family business, Rommel Electric Company, four decades ago. The shy, unassuming tradesman, minus a signature ponytail that hangs behind his clean-shaven, middle-aged face, reluctantly stepped to the podium in the atrium of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business on Thursday, April 20, to comment on his family's $5.5 million gift to Salisbury University. (Daily Times)

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Trump order on visas worries city's foreign teachers

President Donald Trump's decision to review a foreign worker visa program to ensure jobs are "offered to American workers first" has caused uncertainty for urban school districts such as Baltimore's that have long relied on teachers from overseas to augment their staff. Trump signed an executive order this week directing federal agencies to reassess the H-1B visa program, which allows companies to hire 85,000 highly skilled foreign workers a year. Baltimore City Public Schools, which a decade ago hired hundreds of Filipinos to work in classrooms, still employs nearly 200 teachers on H-1B visas — one of the largest concentrations in the nation. (Balt. Sun)

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Kittleman tackles ambitious budget request for Howard schools

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman's $1.1 billion general fund operating budget for fiscal 2018 includes $572 million in county funding for the school system — $54 million less than the school board's record-high request. Despite the mismatch between the school system's ambitious request and the county's proposal, Kittleman's tempered budget is $10 million above what local lawmakers approved last year for the school system after a contentious back-and-forth between the school and county officials. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Howard high schools commemorate Columbia founder's artistic appreciation

When James Rouse founded Columbia in June 1967, arts and education were inclusive components for the healthy, growing community, according to Pam Land, Howard County public school's lead theater arts teacher. To remember a man who supported the dreams of future artists, Land said more than 700 students representing Howard County's 12 high schools will share Rouse's influence on their passions during a Columbia 50th birthday tribute on Sunday, April 23 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Merriweather Post Pavilion. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Board Asked To Show Opioid Documentary In Schools

Community members approached school system officials this week to encourage more prevention efforts in the growing opioid epidemic. Ocean City resident Cindy Elliott, accompanied by Ocean City Police Department Corporal James Schwartz, asked the Worcester County Board of Education to consider showing students “Chasing the Dragon,” a documentary meant to educate viewers about the dangers of opioid addiction. “This film or something similar won’t be the miracle cure but it could be another weapon,” Elliott said. (O.C. Md. News)

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Chesapeake Science Point student wins seat on Anne Arundel school board

Lusia Cole became the first charter school student elected to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education on Thursday, beating out an Annapolis High School student and a South River High School student. The Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School junior, who made her pitch to hundreds of student voters at Arundel High School, said she wants to reform the schools' discipline policies and educate the community about charter schools. Three finalists competed for 276 votes from student representatives from the county's middle and high schools, each taking positions on school policies and budgets. (Capital)

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