March 28 // Hogan's help for the city schools

We were heartened to see Gov. Larry Hogan commit on Sunday to providing additional funding to Baltimore City schools, and to a lesser extent to other districts, to help them cope with expected reductions in state aid next year. His rhetoric about the system has been disappointing throughout much of the debate, and he continued to paint a misleading picture about the district's finances even over the weekend. But the important thing is that he, Mayor Catherine Pugh, system CEO Sonja Santelises and the leaders in the General Assembly are all now publicly committed to softening the fiscal blow the system faced — and the ripple effects the projected $130 million shortfall would have had on teachers, principals and more than 80,000 children and their families. (Balt. Sun)

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State bill merely shifts an inevitable fight

Make no mistake, the legal battling over President Donald Trump's immigration enforcement policies is just getting started. But we don't believe the so-called Maryland Trust Act will be the next battleground. For that we can thank, among others, three Democrats from Anne Arundel County: Dels. Mark Chang, Ted Sophocleus and Ned Carey. Arguing that this was what their constituents wanted, they voted against the legislation this month, even as the House Democratic caucus passed the bill without Republican support. That means the margin of victory was short of the 85 votes needed to overturn a promised veto by Gov. Larry Hogan. (Capital)

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John Bullock, Kristerfer Burnett: 'Vulture capital' firm preys on Baltimore

In 2010, Joann Rodriguez suffered a health crisis precipitated by her multiple sclerosis. She could no longer keep her job with the AARP, but it took her two years before she received any disability benefits. After draining all of her retirement savings, she finally fell behind on her mortgage. Three weeks ago, Joann came home to find a note taped to her front door. It said that she has until March 28th to vacate her home. Joann has tried to negotiate a modification that would allow her to pay off her mortgage and stay in her house, but instead, her house is being foreclosed on by a Wall Street vulture capital fund called Oaktree Capital Management. (Balt. Sun)

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Kalman R. Hettleman: A supreme disappointment for students with disabilities

The Supreme Court held unanimously last week — in its most momentous ruling on special education in over three decades — that the standard for services owed to students with disabilities under federal law is higher than "merely more than de minimis." Lower courts had been divided, with some saying services must be "meaningful" or "significant," and others saying "merely more than de minimis" — as in a step above trivial. Locally, Baltimore City Public Schools have been on the national forefront in raising the bar for services, though implementation has lagged. On the other hand, the Maryland State Department of Education has done little to nothing. (Balt. Sun)

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March 27 // Laslo Boyd: Overcoming “Trump depression”

In a recent article in the New York Times, Arthur Brooks, head of the American Enterprise Institute, argued that people who pay the most attention to politics are most likely to be unhappy. While it’s indisputable that a lot of people have been unhappy since November 8 of last year, Brooks’ assertion paints an incomplete and misleading picture. As the old saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there trying to get you. Similarly, in today’s political environment, there’s plenty to be depressed about regardless of the state of your mental health. (From a Certain Point of View)

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In Maryland, a good compromise on immigration

The political turmoil and outrage attending a bill that would limit the cooperation granted to federal immigration authorities by state and local officials in Maryland are disconnected from the effect of the latest, watered-down provisions that actually appear in the legislation. So are accusations by immigration restrictionists that the bill would transform Maryland into a “sanctuary state,” whatever that means. (Wash. Post)

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Del. Herb McMillan: The 'Trust Act' is a betrayal of the public's trust on behalf of felons

The "Trust Act" (House Bill 1362) perfectly exemplifies the way the left uses political language as a smokescreen to hide the full intent of its actions. The measure was sold as a way to protect hardworking undocumented immigrants and their children, who only want a better life, from local law enforcement agencies more interested in deporting them than protecting us. While that's a blatantly inaccurate assessment of what's happening in Maryland, if that's all the legislation did, there wouldn't have been a national uproar over its passage last week. (Capital)

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Dan Rodricks: Baltimore's population loss hurts more this time

Being attached to Baltimore is like being attached to a drug addict: You love the best of it and you hate the worst of it. You're on this emotional roller coaster — up and down, up and down — and just when it seems that recovery is steady and strong, relapse happens, and everything flops like daffodils in a frost. I call Baltimore "Our City of Perpetual Recovery" because it reminds me of various drug addicts and alcoholics I've met over the years. They could be quirky and lovable; they could be nasty and unlovable. They were worthy of sympathy and deserving of disdain. They seemed promising one day, hopeless the next. They demanded a lot of patience and forgiveness. (Balt. Sun)

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