August 17 // Kirwan commission wrangles over who will oversee increased education funding, school reform

As the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education moved closer to recommending billion-dollar increases in K-12 funding along with major structural changes, commission Chairman Brit Kirwan again stressed his repeated calls for accountability. “This accountability has to be real and it has to have teeth,” said Kirwan, former chancellor of the university system. Kirwan said he has been advised by many people across the state that “without a credible accountability system,” the commission’s final recommendations are likely to fail. (Md. Reporter)

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Montgomery Co. to name new school after Bayard Rustin, civil rights leader

In September, Montgomery County, Maryland, will open a new elementary school named for Bayard Rustin, a not oft remembered leader who played a pivotal role in the burgeoning civil rights era. Rustin helped spark a movement that would change the course of American history — even if his name might not be as instantly recognizable as others in the civil rights movement. He was an adviser and an intellectual who, unlike some of his fellow organizers, kept a relatively low profile. (WTOP)

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University System of Maryland Board of Regents to meet about Jordan McNair

The University System of Maryland’s governing board is holding a special meeting Friday to discuss actions taken by the state’s flagship university after the death of football player Jordan McNair. The Board of Regents is expected to meet in closed session to hear updates on the university’s response to the 19-year-old offensive lineman’s death and to discuss legal and personnel issues. McNair, a former McDonogh standout, suffered heatstroke during a team workout May 29 and died 15 days later. University President Wallace Loh said this week that the school takes “legal and moral responsibility” for mistakes in treating him. (Balt. Sun)

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Money magazine ranks Maryland's 'Best Colleges for Your Money'

The University System of Maryland's flagship school offers prospective students the greatest value for their money in the state, new rankings show. Time Inc.'s Money magazine ranked 727 schools across the country for its 2018 "Best Colleges for Your Money" list. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Rising South Carroll seniors could be future rising political stars

For rising South Carroll High School seniors and best friends Andrew Zirkle and Matthew Geiger, politics has always held an admittedly geeky fascination. It, in some ways, started with a game their freshman year. “On Instagram, there was this community of people around the same age as us and they would simulate government,” Geiger said. “Drew and I decided to create our own freshman year. It was called American Government Simulation and we had probably 200 kids or so participating in that.” More recently, however, the two friends have taken their interest in politics and policy a little further — all the way to Washington, D.C. (Carr. Co. Times)

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High levels of lead found in some water outlets in schools in Montgomery and Anne Arundel

State-mandated testing in Maryland has detected elevated lead levels in drinking fountains and taps in schools in Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County and Harford County. A bill passed last year by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Larry Hogan requires that public and private schools test for lead in drinking water outlets. That testing, the first phase of which had to be completed by July 1, yielded levels of lead above the Environmental Protection Agency guideline of 20 parts per billion (ppb) in water fixtures in several school districts. In Montgomery County — the state’s largest school district — 238 of the 13,248 fixtures tested were found to have lead levels above 20 ppb. (Wash. Post)

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Yes, there is a free lunch. And Howard schools serve 10,000 more this summer

The Howard County school system is on track to provide 66,000 free lunches through its summer weekday meals program, serving 16,000 more meals than last year. The school system is “making a point that hunger doesn’t take a break during the summer,” said Brian Ralph, director of food and nutrition services for the school system. After running for eight weeks, the federally funded program ends Friday. County schools reopen Sept. 4. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Ocean City surfing camp gives kids with autism confidence, community

Nathaniel Reaves was diagnosed with autism when he was 2. His mother describes him as laid back, but says he struggles with communication and is behind other children his age. Wednesday, Aug. 15, he joined more than 100 other children with autism at the Surfers Healing camp in Ocean City. The camp pairs children with autism with professional surfers for a safe, unforgettable surfing experience. (Daily Times)

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