Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to speak to education journalists in Baltimore

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has agreed to speak at a national conference of education reporters in Baltimore in May, after declining to appear before the group for the past two years. DeVos will be interviewed at the Education Writers Association conference by Erica L. Green, a New York Times education reporter who formerly worked for The Baltimore Sun. DeVos also will take questions from other education reporters. (Balt. Sun)

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More than 225 from Harford to join march, rally for education in Annapolis Monday

More than 200 people from Harford County are expected to board buses bound for Annapolis Monday afternoon to rally for funding for local schools and schools across Maryland. The Maryland State Education Association is hosting a March for Our Schools at 6 p.m. Monday in front of the State House and Harford is sending a contingent to show its support. “Particularly in this county, the continual under-funding has resulted in the school system having to make significant staffing cuts since 2011,” Chrystie Crawford-Smick, president of the Harford County Education Association, said. “Another fairly significant cut [is proposed] for FY2020.” (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland moves toward curbing abusive teachers’ job movement

After high-profile sexual misconduct cases in schools, Maryland took a step Thursday toward joining a growing number of states enacting legislation to prevent teachers with records of misconduct from moving school-to-school. The Maryland House of Delegates voted 140-0 to ban nondisclosure agreements involving sexual abuse for school employees who have direct contact with children. The measure, which now goes to the state’s Senate, also would require prospective school employers to conduct a thorough review of applicants’ employment history. (AP)

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Civil rights groups ask court to force Maryland to spend hundreds of millions more on Baltimore schools

In a case that could have far-reaching consequences for public schools across Maryland, two civil rights organizations went to court Thursday to reopen a landmark case they hope will force the state to provide hundreds of millions more dollars for the Baltimore school system. The ACLU of Maryland and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund argue that the state is not living up to its obligation — spelled out in a consent decree two decades ago — to provide enough funding for city schools. They say the state should be spending $200 million to $300 million more each year to rebuild deteriorating buildings and provide a better education. If they were to succeed, Maryland would face pressure to spend far more on schools throughout the state as well. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. county launches ambitious child-care and early education program

Montgomery County leaders announced an ambitious plan Thursday to increase access to child-care programs for low-income families, an effort to make children better prepared for kinder­garten in some of the poorest pockets of the Maryland suburb. The initiative, aimed at children from birth to age 5, is slated to bring 600 additional seats to programs in family homes, centers and school classrooms during its first year — at a cost of $8 million — as the first step in a four-year plan. (Wash. Post)

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Elevated lead levels at thousands of Md. schools prompts bill for better water quality

This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. Children go to school to learn — not to face brain-harming levels of lead exposure. State lawmakers are working this year to expand upon legislation passed two years ago that shined a light on elevated lead levels in the drinking water at thousands of Maryland schools. Del. Jared Solomon (D-Montgomery) and Sen. Cory McCray (D-Baltimore City) are sponsoring a bill that would lower the acceptable level of lead in Maryland school water fixtures and create a state grant program to fund remediation efforts. (Md. Matters)

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Howard schools name top principal, teachers of 2019

The Howard County school system announced its 2019 principal and teachers of the year Thursday afternoon. The recipients are Josh Wasilewski, principal of Long Reach High School; Sylvia Hennessie, a kindergarten team leader at Guilford Elementary School and Greg Murach, a math teacher at Mt. Hebron High School, the latter two for teacher of the year. Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano surprised the winners at each of their schools Wednesday. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel could be rewarded for meeting Kirwan goals ahead of time, Senate bill says

Maryland senators are reviewing legislation that could drive millions to Anne Arundel County — including a $5.4 million grant for teachers’ salaries and $1.2 million for young students who struggle in English language arts or reading. Proponents say the money will incentivize the school district to get a jump start on recommendations set forth by the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence, chaired by former University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan. (Balt. Sun)

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