March 22 // Young pledges to redirect $10 million from Baltimore police to schools, sparking debate

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said Tuesday he will look to cut $10 million from the police budget and redirect the money to city schools. Young, who first made that pledge to cheering education advocates outside City Hall, is among a growing number of city leaders who have suggested spending less on policing and more on education and other services — even as Baltimore grapples with unrelenting violence. (Balt. Sun)

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Some of Hogan’s statements on Rockville rape miss the mark

White House press secretary Sean Spicer wasn’t the only government official to conflate some issues when answering questions about the two undocumented immigrants charged with raping a fellow student at Rockville High School. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), answering questions from a television reporter after touring a police station in Annapolis, made a series of questionable comments about the case, which involved a 14-year-old victim. According to an audiotape provided by the governor’s spokeswoman, Hogan blamed the Obama administration for the presence of the two suspects in the United States. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore County school board votes to remove heat closure policy

The Baltimore County Board of Education voted Tuesday to abolish a controversial policy that forced the superintendent to close schools without air conditioning on excessively hot days. The policy — which was put in place last summer — directed Superintendent Dallas Dance to close non-air conditioned schools on days when forecasts predicted the heat index would hit 90 degrees by 11 a.m. Early in the 2016-17 school year, more than three dozen county schools were closed on four days under the policy. Additionally, sports practices, games and other events were canceled at the schools that were affected. (Balt. Sun)

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After proposals to plug city schools deficit, principals face new decision: What can they expect to restore?

Baltimore principals have agonized over their next budgets, cutting arts classes, tutors and librarians to prepare for an impending $130 million deficit across the city school district. Now they face another decision: What can they expect to restore? School district administrators are calculating the dollars that could be returned to each principal under plans to shrink the deficit. These amounts will be provided to the roughly 180 public school principals this week, said John Walker, the chief financial officer for city schools. "This will be the dollars added back to their budgets," Walker said. "We're going to send out two different scenarios." (Balt. Sun)

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Struggles of new East Baltimore school show challenges of integration

The school had an auspicious start, hailed as a design masterpiece by architecture critics. The building was divided into five areas, or "houses," each with its own cafeteria and flexible open spaces that would allow for small groups of students to learn together doing projects, art, theater and other activities. Connected to the school is the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center, which shares the same board but is not part of the school. It accepts children from ages six weeks through pre-kindergarten. Together, the Weinberg center and the school are roughly the footprint of a large Walmart, with concrete courtyards, small green spaces and trees. (Balt. Sun)

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Chesapeake College offering criminal justice program

Chesapeake College is offering a new fully online degree program designed to give law enforcement officers an opportunity to quickly and affordably earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice. The cost to complete the program is about $3,600 for students qualifying for resident tuition in Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. Many students are eligible for financial assistance from their respective agencies, government entities or Chesapeake College. (Star Dem.)

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Frederick Douglass HS celebrates National AG Day

In celebration of National Agriculture Day, students at Frederick Douglass High School planted flowers Tuesday. Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder were there to help plant enough flowers for each student to take home on Mother's Day. Rutherford said the event educates students about the growing process and the agricultural field. "The governor and I want to make sure that the folks in Baltimore City, in particularly the kids, understanding the importance of agriculture to not only our economy, but to the nation's economy," Rutherford said. (WMAR)

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March 21 // Former Baltimore city principal charged with theft of school funds, withdrawing cash at casino

The former principal of an alternative high school in Southeast Baltimore has been indicted on charges of stealing nearly $13,400 from a school account — proceeds from the sale of school uniforms, class dues, graduation fees — and withdrawing the cash repeatedly from an ATM at Maryland Live Casino, state prosecutors said. The charges against Leslie Lewis, 44, of Owings Mills, bring to three to the number of city schools administrators charged in recent years with raiding their school coffers to spend on themselves. Others paid for utility bills and legal fees, a 19-day hotel stay in New Jersey, even wedding expenses. (Balt. Sun)

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