Opinions differ on local school scheduling control decision

Opinions seem to be split among Washington County Public Schools students, parents, staff members and administrators on the debate regarding who should decide when schools across the state start and end. Gov. Larry Hogan in 2016 signed an executive order mandating that public schools begin classes after Labor Day and finish by June 15 on the basis it would help economically, particularly on the Eastern Shore. On Feb. 12, the Democratic-controlled Maryland Senate approved a bill 31-13 to repeal the order, with the vote running along party lines. (Herald Mail)

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Looking at Maryland school start time order's waiver policy, economic impact

Maryland schools would start after Labor Day and end by June 15. While the order does allow for some exceptions to the rule, Washington County Public Schools does not meet those requirements, according to Deputy Superintendent April Bishop. Waiver eligibility includes the adoption of an “innovative school schedule for low-performing, at-risk or charter schools,” or the school system has closed 10 days per year during any two of the last five years because of natural disasters, civil disasters or severe weather conditions. (Herald Mail)

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Inventing futures at Allegany College of Maryland

Since 1961, Allegany College of Maryland has focused on building the new — what many, Aristotle included, consider the secret to change. Through its constant reinvention of academic and demand-driven career training programs, the college serves as an institution of value and impact. This year, ACM sees Allegany County’s Western Maryland Works makerspace as its latest opportunity to improve the region and build the new. (Times-News)

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Learning at home: Local parents take hands-on approach to education

Christine Jenkins has viewed education through the eyes of a child, adult, student, teacher and parent. She recently recalled scary memories of attending public school when she was little in the 1980s. Today, because Jenkins is concerned about school violence, bullying and educational quality, she home-schools her children to keep them in a safe environment where she knows they’ll be successful learners. (Times-News)

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Gov. Hogan’s Bill To Increase Tech Education Killed In The Senate Committee

Gov. Hogan expressed his disappointment after his legislation to expand the number of schools participating in the state’s technology education program died in the Senate committee Thursday. “I am at a complete loss,” Hogan said in a Facebook post shortly after the legislation was shot down. The bill was voted down 6-4 along party lines in the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. (WJZ-TV)

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Kirwan: Maryland education commission 'potentially the most important thing I have ever been involved in'

William “Brit” Kirwan will always be known for his work as president of the University of Maryland and then chancellor of the University System of Maryland. So it may be surprising that he counts those positions as less important than his volunteer work of late — re-imagining how the state’s public schools might become the best in the nation. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland county executives testify in support of bill to boost school construction funds

Maryland county leaders, including Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., testified Wednesday in Annapolis in support of a bill that could add $1.8 billion to the state’s school construction funding over the next four years. The plan by Gov. Larry Hogan would use revenue bonds funded by casino gaming revenues to pay for public school construction projects through a program run by the Maryland Stadium Authority. Olszewski told the Maryland Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee that without the additional funding, school projects that Baltimore County parents expect could grind to a halt. (Balt. Sun)

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Local officials seek to address mental health issues in school-age children

Local officials are exploring ways to address mental health issues among school-age children. Jake Shade, Allegany County Board of Commissioners president, spoke about the issue at a budget meeting earlier this month. He said he would like to see more resources directed at the problem. “The (Allegany County) Board of Education, one of their issues they’ve been looking at, and I’ve been looking at, is a mental health counselor in every school,” Shade said. (Times-News)

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