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Inside Ed
Education news and issues
White House-sponsored event at UMBC probes help for students in juvenile justice system

Students and administrators from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, participating in a White House-sponsored education symposium Wednesday, promoted a program that they say helps youths in the juvenile justice system, particularly African-Americans, find a new path through education.

"We've been doing this work now for decades as we've worked to support children who are first-time offenders," said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski III, "and we believe the model has the potential to help children and families around the country."

President Barack Obama launched the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in 2012 with the goal of improving education outcomes for all African-Americans, but with an emphasis on students at risk. Hrabowski chairs the initiative's commission; members include Baltimore County schools Superintendent Dallas Dance.

Meeting at UMBC's campus in Catonsville, Hrabowski and others said the university's Choice Program annually...

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Baltimore educators support armed school officers, surveys show

The public is sounding off on the issue of whether Baltimore school police officers should be armed during the school day, as state lawmakers consider whether to move forward with a bill in the Maryland legislature that would lift restrictions on when officers can carry their weapons.

The city school board held a hearing on the controversial bill Tuesday evening, where supporters and opponents faced off about whether the measure was necessary.

The city’s teachers and the administrators union conducted a survey on the issue this week and reported that the majority of the educators who responded supported armed officers in schools. Both unions asked educators if they believed school police should carry guns.

Jimmy Gittings, president of the administrators union, said that of 128 principals who responded to the survey, 100 were in favor.

Gittings said he believed school police should be able to carry guns. “In the event of a life-threatening emergency, our school police must be able to...

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Should city school police be armed inside school walls? Board hears from both sides

Should Baltimore's school police officers be allowed to carry guns in schools?

The issue brought several passionate groups together at a public hearing at city school headquarters Tuesday night. But in debating how far the district should go to protect students, those in attendance could not have been more divided.

A bill, introduced in the General Assembly by Del. Curt Anderson and Sen. Joan Carter Conway, would allow members of the 141-member city school police force — the only sworn force in the state designated specifically for a school district — to carry service weapons in school buildings while classes are in session.

The measure would allow a change advocated by the city school board, and officers say the matter is one of life and death.

"I want to be on the right side of history," Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the city school police union, told board members.

"We're one heartbeat away from our town becoming the next Newtown," he said, referring to the 2012 incident in...

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11 Maryland public schools systems delay openings

All public school students in the Baltimore metro area got a late start to their school week, as the entire region dealt with refreezing on roadways following a weekend snow storm.

Baltimore City and 10 Maryland counties delayed openings for students Monday. Kent County on the Eastern Shore opened 90 minutes late, while the rest — including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties — were on a two-hour delay.

Three Baltimore County elementary schools announced Monday afternoon they were canceling after-school activities. Those schools included Featherbed Lane, Shady Springs and Sparks elementary schools.

Also, Midtown Academy in Baltimore was closed Monday due to electrical issues.

In addition, Anne Arundel Community College,  Harford Community College and the Towson University in Northeastern Maryland campus delayed opening until 10 a.m.

To find a complete listing of delays, bookmark bsun.md/snowday

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Baltimore students, parents protest state budget cuts proposed for city schools

More than 100 of Baltimore's students, parents, teachers and community members on Thursday protested Gov. Larry Hogan's $35 million in proposed budget cuts to city schools.

Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) co-chairman, the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors explained the cuts and referenced a Baltimore Sun report that revealed the school system faces an additional $60 million deficit in next year's budget.

"Our children are being threatened," Connors said.

He also criticized Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for giving out tax breaks to developers, which increased the city's property wealth by more than $1.3 billion with the construction of hotels like the Mariott in Harbor East.

Since the state's school funding formula is based in part on property wealth, Connors said allowing developers not to pay taxes constituted "developing Baltimore on the backs of our children."

Tyhera Bennett, 11, a fifth grader at Robert W. Coleman Elementary, read a letter by her sister Tykaila Taft...

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City, Harford schools closed due to cold, several others delayed

Baltimore City and Harford County schools are closed Friday due to the extreme cold temperatures, and several other local jurisdictions are delayed.

Temperatures were near — or in some cases below — zero early Friday, with wind chills forecast to dip into the negatives.

Baltimore City officials posted on the school system website that the closure is "Due to extreme cold and resulting heating issues in many buildings."

Schools in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Howard, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George's counties were operating on a two-hour delayed opening.

Other school systems that decided to close Friday included Allegany County and Cecil County.

For a full, updated list of delays and closings, bookmark http://essentials.baltimoresun.com/macro/school-closings/

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