Baltimore Gets Creative to Entice Chronically Absent Students to Return

Baltimore City Public Schools have launched a phone banking program in an attempt to connect with and entice chronically absent students to return the the classroom. The Super Outreach Sunday phone bank program was recently launched by Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) in a push by the school system to connect with students who have already had 10 or more unexcused absences or have yet to attend school since the start of the 2022-23 school year four…

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Montgomery State’s Attorney Tours Schools, Warns of Ghost Guns

On Saturday, September 24th, Bethesda Magazine published a piece chronicling Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy's efforts to educate students on gun safety issues, focusing on ghost guns. The State's Attorney is visiting each of Montgomery County's 26 high schools to “educate [the county's] high school students about how to keep schools and students safe.” Gun seizures have risen in the last year, with "907 guns [having] been seized in the county as of Sept. 11,"…

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Teachers Are Leaving, Yet Student-Teacher Ratios Are Improving… What’s Going on?

Public schools across the country have successfully lowered student-teacher ratios despite school staff shortages by continuing to hire staff while student enrollment rates are down. Teachers are leaving the profession at a concerning rate around the country, and hiring new education staff remains a major challenge. Combined with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, local education agencies (LEAs) are facing a perfect storm scenario around the country. However, new research shows that "on a per-student…

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Prince George’s to Use Telehealth to Connect Students to Healthcare

Prince George's County Public Schools has successfully partnered with the nation's largest pediatric telehealth provider to bring virtual care to public school students. Starting in October, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will start offering virtual telehealth resources to public school students in an effort to close healthcare gaps and make care more accessible. PGCPS recently enacted an agreement with Hazel — the nation’s largest pediatric telehealth provider. The partnership will offer "students county-wide free access…

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$1B in Federal Cybersecurity Grants Soon Available for Counties and Schools

The federal government will issue State and Local Cybersecurity Grants totaling $1 billion over four years for states to distribute to local governments and school systems. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin issuing the first-ever cybersecurity grant program designed for state, local and territorial governments and will distribute $1 billion directly to states over the next four years. The cybersecurity grant funding is available through the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program and was established…

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Frederick School Board Seeking Independent Audit of Special Ed Programs

The Frederick County Board of Education voted unanimously to seek an independent firm to audit its public special education programs. At the September 14 meeting fo the Frederick County Board of Education, Board members voted unanimously to approve the start of a search for an independent firm to audit Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) special education programs. The move comes at the recommendation of a Blue Ribbon Task Force that formed in response to a U.S.…

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Here’s How Experts Suggest Schools Strengthen Career and Technical Programs

Career and Technical Education is important for workforce and economic development. Here, we explore best practices to strengthen CTE programs. County government -- as a funder and supporter of public education -- is uniquely situated to help prepare Maryland's learners for the modern workforce. Of growing importance are nontraditional educational and career pathways, like career and technical education (CTE). In fact, a survey published in May 2022 by ECMC Group, a nonprofit corporation focused on higher education financial assistance,…

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Report Details State of Public School Buildings, Work to Be Done

The Interagency Commission on School Construction has published an inaugural annual fiscal year report, which includes details on school construction spending, the annual Statewide Facilities Assessments report, and the Annual Maintenance-Effectiveness Report. The Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) inaugural Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report is now available on the IAC website. The IAC has traditionally published information related to each of its funding programs and activities for public information on the IAC website or as required by statute. However,…

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Maryland Sportsbooks Handled $18.6M in August, Mobile Launch Still Months Away

August sports wagering handle totaled more than $18.6 million. Last month, Maryland’s five sports wagering facilities combined to contribute $415,801 to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which supports public education programs. Each sports wagering licensee contributes 15 percent of its taxable win to the State of Maryland. Operators reported $3.2 million in gross revenue, an increase of nearly 60 percent from July and the third-best month since launch. The hold was more than four total…

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Federal Resources Available for School Mental Health Programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced $47.6 million in new grant funding opportunities for school-based mental health programs and resources. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)'s grant opportunities comes from from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S.2938), enacted in June to implement changes to the mental health care system, school safety programs, and gun safety laws. Available funding for counties is two-fold and includes: $37.6 million within Project Advancing…

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