Baltimore County will hold public forums for input on school superintendent search

Consultants hired to conduct a search for a new school superintendent in Baltimore County will hold 10 forums to allow the public to comment on what characteristics are most important in a new leader. The public forums will be held in the morning and evening March 20 through March 22 in five parts of the county. Locations and times have not been announced. Ray and Associates was recently hired to conduct the search for the new superintendent, who, by state law, must be in place by July 1. (Balt. Sun)

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Even after board vote, armed school police in Baltimore aren't a given

Almost no other issue has brought as much passionate testimony at Baltimore school board meetings as the question of whether school police officers should be armed. At its last meeting, the board reversed its earlier position and voted 8-2 in support of legislation that would amend state law to authorize its officers to patrol with guns during the school day. Their vote — taken a month after they unanimously opposed the idea of armed officers — came shortly after a shooting at Frederick Douglass High School left a hall monitor injured. After the vote, board chair Cheryl Casciani warned that arming school police is not a “forgone conclusion.” (Balt. Sun)

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Some Baltimore area school systems say they are woefully underfunded — and they are demanding more money

Three big suburban school districts — Howard, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties— have rebelled against a decade of tight budgets and are asking for double-digit percentage increases for the coming year. In Baltimore City, the ACLU is threatening to reopen a decades-old court case to force the state to send more money to the school system. And in a small Eastern Shore county, Republican politicians have raised income taxes to build a new school. (Balt. Sun)

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University of Maryland athletic department implements most recommendations made after Jordan McNair's death

Nine months after University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair died of heatstroke following a summer practice, the state flagship university has implemented most of the changes recommended by a sports medicine consultant brought in to assess the response to his death. Athletic Director Damon Evans told an advisory council Wednesday that his department has completed 18 out of 20 recommendations issued by Dr. Rod Walters, whom the university hired to review the football team’s protocols from the day McNair fell ill. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. university system chancellor sparked ethics queries

The email from Maryland’s university system chancellor promoting a jewelry company’s charm bracelets was so unusual, it prompted a top Virginia university official to write to an aide to Chancellor Robert Caret, questioning its authenticity. The 2017 email also triggered a chain of events that led to a grievance over alleged retaliation by Caret and a settlement signed by the chancellor, according to emails and documents obtained by The Associated Press. (Daily Record)

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In Annapolis, Kirwan commission head sounds alarm about need to increase Maryland public school funding

Former University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan faced a phalanx of news cameras Tuesday and delivered a dire message: More than 60 percent of Maryland’s graduating high school seniors can’t read at a 10th-grade level or pass an Algebra I test. “Too many kids are going through our schools and not ending up with the knowledge and skills necessary to have successful lives and careers,” the educator warned. “What will it mean for our state if we don’t change the current circumstances?” (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Democratic lawmakers offer blueprint for education

Democrats who control the Maryland General Assembly outlined legislation Tuesday that provides a blueprint to improve education over 10 years, including an expansion of pre-K and teacher raises. The measure incorporates elements proposed by a state commission that spent more than two years working on a framework to improve early childhood, primary and secondary education. (Times-news)

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Harford schools consider outsourcing custodial, food services, offering naming rights

Harford County’s public school system is looking to the future for potential ways to reduce costs and increase revenues, which include outsourcing and offering naming rights for athletic facilities, as officials struggle to close a $35 million budget gap this year. Harford County Public Schools has issued Requests for Information to potentially outsource three areas — custodial services, food services and special education transportation services. None of these would be for the coming fiscal year, according to Superintendent Sean Bulson. (Balt. Sun)

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