MML to Host Academy Elective Citizen Engagement Webinar Oct. 15

The Maryland Municipal League (MML) is hosting a Citizen Engagement Webinar on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. This session expands on MML's popular Learning Lab from this Summer's Virtual Conference, after numerous requests for a another session were received. From MML: Based upon this popular demand and a willingness on the part of the instructors to build a more expansive training, the Maryland Municipal League is pleased to announce a…

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Report: Baltimore County High Schools Need $1.2 Billion for Renovations/Expansions

A new report says that Baltimore County's 24 public high schools require renovations and expansions that could cost up to $1.2 billion. The report -- authored by consulting firm CannonDesign -- is part of a collaboration between Baltimore County Government and Baltimore County Public Schools to develop a long-range plan for identifying and prioritizing capital improvements to schools. The Multi-Year Improvement Plan for all Schools will assess capital needs based on a number of factors,…

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U.S. Ed Dept & OCR: Schools May Prioritize Special Needs Students When Reopening

After the United States Department of Education reminded schools of the obligation to provide special education services and uphold civil rights laws no matter if students are learning in-person or remotely, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) stated that schools may not prioritize in-person learning opportunities for students based on race, national origin or color - but may prioritize in-person instruction for students with disabilities based on their individual needs. The guidance documents were released…

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U.S. Dept of Ed Not Expected to Appeal in CARES Funding Lawsuits

After multiple lawsuits were filed against the United States Department of Education and the Department's Secretary Betsy DeVos on controversial rule sending CARES funding to private schools, DeVos states that the department will not appeal courts' decisions, which ruled against the interim final rule. As previously reported on Conduit Street, in late August, a federal court in Washington ordered a preliminary injunction against DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to stop the implementation of…

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Harford Launches Student Loan Repayment Program for Volunteer First Responders

To ease the debt burden on volunteer first responders, Harford County will offer up to $5,000 per year to help volunteer fire & EMS providers repay their college loans. Harford County relies entirely on volunteers for its fire service, and has a combination of volunteer and paid EMS providers operating in 12 volunteer companies across the County. Harford’s student loan repayment program will help recruit and retain public safety volunteers. The program, known as Harford’s…

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Six MD Public Schools Named National Blue Ribbon Schools

Six Maryland public schools have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020.  United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that six Maryland public schools have been named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. National Blue Ribbon Schools are public and private elementary, middle, and high schools recognized for overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. From MSDE's press release: “Maryland continues to have some of the…

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State Board of Ed Talks Priorities, School Reopenings

The Maryland State Board of Education met in a both a special session and regular session on September 21 and September 22, respectively, to discuss State Board Priorities, Review Local School System Reopening Plans, and other topics. During the Special Meeting of the State Board on September 21, the Board received a presentation from Robert Hull, President and CEO of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) on leading practices in a priority…

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St. Mary’s Approves State Capital Improvements Program for Public School System

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County unanimously approved a letter of support for an increase to the county's public school system. The $8.1 million increase in funding to the St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) FY22-FY27 State Capital Improvement Program would cover several projects to improve school buildings and scheduled maintenance through 2027. From the press release: The life cycle replacement of building components is tracked through the SMCPS Comprehensive Maintenance Plan for Educational Facilities.…

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Baltimore County Schools Consider Return to In-Person Instruction in November

In a statement from Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams announced that while they will continue to move forward with a virtual reopening, BCPS will start to implement a phased-in approach for students to return to in-person learning. This announcement comes after Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent held a press conference encouraging local school systems to develop plans for reopening in-person learning for the fall. According to BCPS's website, beginning October…

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MSDE Announces $10M to Support In-Person Fall Instruction

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) $10 million in grant awards to support Maryland schools that reopen for in-person instruction this fall. MSEDE is encouraging in-person instruction by providing this addition COVID-19 emergency relief funds to local school systems, the SEED School, the Maryland School for the Blind, and the Maryland School for the Deaf for starting in-person instruction by the start of the 2020-2021 school year's second quarter. The grant awards will include…

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