Judge rules in favor of Bethel Christian Academy in school voucher case

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by a Christian school that accuses Maryland officials of kicking it out of a voucher program because of the school’s belief in traditional marriage. U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher ruled that Bethel Christian Academy’s lawsuit can move forward in court, saying state education officials could be liable for discriminating against a private school for its Christian beliefs. (Wash. Times)

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza And More: Local Kids Learn Healthy Cooking With Living Classrooms

Since 1985, Living Classrooms has been striving to make the community safer, stronger and healthier. Now, Baltimore-based nutrition and weight-loss company Medifast is partnering with Living Classrooms to give local kids a hands-on healthy cooking experience. “We feel like it’s important for healthy habits to be available for everyone, and we can do that by providing nutrition curriculum, providing the education and access,” said Jennifer Christman, director of clinical nutrition at Medifast. (WJZ-TV)

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Hearings over Montgomery Co. school boundary study set to begin

The Montgomery County Board of Education is preparing to hold the first in a series of hearings on the districtwide boundary analysis that’s currently underway. The hearing is set to take place Monday at 6 p.m. at the board’s headquarters at 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville, Maryland. The districtwide plan, which looks at school capacity, how boundary lines are drawn and crowding issues, comes as the school system continues to grow by thousands of students each year. (WTOP)

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School bus camera contract under review in Montgomery Co.

Montgomery County, Maryland, schools plan to renegotiate a contract to put stop arm cameras on its school bus fleet, and the county’s inspector general wants more documentation. Megan Davey Limarzi, who was appointed inspector general in September, noted the current contract is “slightly unusual.” During a meeting Monday with two Montgomery County Council committees, Limarzi noted her own department’s report — carried out by her predecessor, Edward Blansitt — found “no one broke any rules, no one committed any criminal violations that we could find.” (WTOP)

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Maryland Has 15 Best STEM High Schools in Newsweek Rankings

When it comes to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Maryland has 15 of the best 500 high schools in America, according to a new ranking. Newsweek released the list this November, based on data from STEM.org. “Children are natural STEM students. They love to explore,” Newsweek Global Editor in Chief Nancy Cooper said in a statement with the rankings. “We need to make sure that innate drive, curiosity and creativity aren’t lost along the way.” (Md. Matters)

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Howard school redistricting plan nears completion with straw poll Monday, final vote Thursday

Ten months after the Howard County Board of Education charged the superintendent to begin a comprehensive redistricting process, the final vote on a plan is scheduled for Thursday. During a marathon Monday work session, the school board is expected to take a straw poll on the redistricting proposal. “At the end of the night, they have to make the tentative decision,” said Kathy Hanks, a school board administrator. For the past two months, the school board has conducted eight work sessions and voted on motions creating the guidelines for the redistricting plan. They are expected to complete that work Monday. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Prince George’s Co. teacher charged with child abuse, assault after fight with student

Police have charged a Maryland teacher after she was involved in a fight with a student in a classroom at Largo High School on Friday. Vivian Noirie, 36, of Clinton, Maryland, is charged with physical child abuse and second-degree assault. Detectives are also petitioning for charges against the student through the juvenile court system, according to police. On Friday, at approximately 10:25 a.m., the teacher and the student got into a fight inside a classroom, according to police. Neither the student or teacher required medical attention, police said. (WTOP)

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Audit dings University of Maryland online campus for improper employee payment, tuition review

A state audit has found that a former employee of the University System of Maryland’s largely online degree program was paid nearly $300,000 in violation of policy. Employees who leave a position involuntarily can collect up to a year’s pay, depending on the worker’s length on the job, but employees who resign cannot, according to the university system’s official rules. The audit of the University of Maryland University College, recently renamed the University of Maryland Global Campus, was part of a regular review done by the state’s Office of Legislative Audits. (Balt. Sun)

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