HHMI announces $30M science education initiative

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced a third round of its Inclusive Excellence initiative (IE3) Monday to promote diversity and inclusion in science education. The grant program from the Chevy Chase-based institute challenges colleges and universities to work with faculty to examine and change campus cultures so that a diverse group of students feel included in science. More than 1,400 institutions are eligible to compete, and HHMI expects to award grants to up to 30 more schools, with $1 million provided to each over five years. (Daily Record)

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Frederick Uncut: Looking at the trauma of school safety drills

After an unannounced lockdown drill at Middletown High School in mid-April, questions about how safety drills are handled in local schools revealed the fine line school leaders walk between traumatizing students and preparing them for this reality. Unannounced drills to prepare for active shooters are becoming increasingly common as schools have been the scene of high-profile shootings, such as the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead. (News-Post)

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Betsy DeVos pushes for robust school choice at Baltimore conference

Education secretary Betsy DeVos continued to advocate for robust school choice in front of a room of several hundred journalists attending the Education Writers Association’s annual conference in Baltimore Monday. In a wide-ranging interview, the Department of Education’s controversial leader defended her push for a federal tax credit that would fund scholarships for students to attend private schools and other educational programs. (Balt. Sun)

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Johns Hopkins University to open new center that focuses on school safety and health

The Johns Hopkins University announced Monday that it will create a new interdisciplinary center for school safety and health, the first in the nation in higher education. The center, announced at a conference of Education Writers Association being held this week in Baltimore, will bring together more than two dozen faculty from disciplines as diverse as education and public health to applied physics. The center will attempt to take on what has become one of the pressing problems in schools: the safety of students, from kindergarten through undergraduate education. The center will take a holistic approach. (Balt. Sun)

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University of Maryland exploring a Crystal City hub

The University of Maryland is scouting out potential sites in Crystal City, where it could potentially help to feed Amazon.com Inc.'s long-term plans to hire at least 25,000 workers to support its second headquarters. The state's flagship university is in the market for between 20,000 square feet and 25,000 square feet to support the growth of HQ2, according to sources familiar with the situation. It is said to have looked at several options including real estate owned by JBG Smith Properties (NYSE: JBGS), Amazon's landlord and development partner and the dominant property owner in Crystal City. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Baltimore school with large immigrant population loses vital funding source

Just four years ago, more than 90 percent of students at John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle were identified as poor. This staggering poverty rate meant the federal government provided the Southeast Baltimore school with free, fresh fruits and vegetables for kids. New teachers could qualify for special loan forgiveness, and a bevy of grants were accessible. Perhaps most important, John Ruhrah qualified for Title I, a federal program that directs resources to poor schools. (Balt. Sun)

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The fate of $13.5M in county schools budget is unclear, officials await Hogan's signature

Maryland school districts are waiting for more than $250 million in state grants outlined in the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” bill — including $13.5 million that is incorporated in the county budget revealed last week. Proponents say the bill incentivizes school districts to get a jump start on recommendations set forth by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, chaired by William Kirwan. Jurisdictions are eligible for grants of varying sizes. (Balt. Sun)

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With $8.5 billion work backlog, Pr. George’s schools look to public-private partnerships

Prince George’s County is on track to become the first jurisdiction in the United States to use a public-private partnership to build and maintain several of its public schools — a move officials say will speed construction and decrease the system’s estimated $8.5 billion maintenance and construction backlog. (Wash. Post)

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