It's past time for Annapolis council to vote on school crowding bill

Laments over the glacial pace of legislation before the City Council are not new. Yet Aldermen Ross Arnett and Rob Savidge seem particularly justified in their frustration with Mayor Gavin Buckley for seeking yet another delay in bringing important new rules on school crowding to a vote. The mayor asked in December for more time to sort out how Annapolis and Anne Arundel County can cooperate on school capacity — preventing new home construction from clogging schools that serve residents on both sides of the city-county line. (Capital)

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Chris Riehl: Starting school after Labor Day is reasonable public policy

Euripides once said, “Experience, travel — these are an education in themselves.” Truer words were never spoken, especially for those who have traveled in and around Maryland. Our diverse cultural and historic assets, natural resources and recreational opportunities are second to none. Each day trip to Antietam Battlefield, each afternoon spent touring Baltimore museums, each weekend on the Eastern Shore can be a learning experience, no matter where our guests are visiting from. Maryland’s tour and travel industry encourages and supports these experiences, especially for young people. (Balt. Sun)

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Jeneva Burroughs Stone: Maryland is failing to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities

I attended the Disability Integration Act reintroduction ceremony as a member of Little Lobbyists, a parent-led organization of families with children with complex medical needs and disabilities. As Elena Hung , the co-founder of Little Lobbyists, said at the ceremony, “We want to make sure [our children] have the support in place to live the best lives and maximize their independence in the community and be here with us and not in institutions far away.” That statement hit me hard, because my husband and I have been placed in a no-win situation by Maryland. Now, our financial future is pitted against our love for our son. (Wash. Post)

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Questions about a Hopkins police force are not ridiculous, but they don't win the argument, either

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore’s largest and most prestigious employer, wants permission to establish its own police department at a time when the police department in Baltimore, one of the nation’s most violent cities, does not have enough officers. So what’s the problem? Why hasn’t this already happened? Some, like billionaire Hopkins grad Michael Bloomberg, think it’s ridiculous that this is even a question, given Baltimore’s crime rate and the troubling rate of cops fleeing city employment, and they have a point. (Balt. Sun)

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When it comes to pesticides and children's health, Maryland should err on the side of safety

In Annapolis, lawmakers are frequently asked to weigh competing public interests and decide which is more important. Sometimes, that can be difficult, as when legislators are asked to set tax rates that are fair and competitive with surrounding states. No one wants to raise taxes, but then no one wants to cut vital programs that tax dollars support either. And then there are the relatively easy calls when a substantial public interest runs up against private profit and convenience. What to do about a pesticide that can harm children’s brains would seem to easily fit that latter category. So why is the General Assembly struggling with this issue? (Balt. Sun)

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Douglass shooting no reason to revisit arming school police

The shooting last week of a staff member at Frederick Douglass High School leaves many questions unanswered. Whether the city school system should revisit its decision to oppose arming school police officers is not one of them. Police say Neil Davis, 25, went to Douglass on Friday intending to confront special education assistant Michael Marks about a disciplinary issue involving a relative. Mr. Davis entered the school lobby, asked for Mr. Marks and, when the staffer identified himself, began yelling. Police say Mr. Davis pulled out a gun and fired five shots, two of which hit Mr. Marks in the upper torso. (Balt. Sun)

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It’s time to rethink what teachers are for

Of all the ideas we’ve forgotten from math class, the most important to relearn — because it illuminates our most urgent challenges — is the difference between arithmetic and geometric progressions. Maybe you recall. An arithmetic progression is a sequence in which the difference between numbers remains constant. For example, counting by twos: 1, 3, 5, 7 and so on. Each number adds two more. A geometric progression is a sequence defined by a constant ratio. Doubling, for instance. Instead of adding two, you multiply by two: 1, 2, 4, 8 and so on. Each number is twice the one before. (Wash. Post)

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Raise a ruckus for Baltimore County schools

Our view: The political gloves are going to have to come off in Towson if public schools are to be adequately funded next year
For as long as most people can remember, finalizing a school system budget in Baltimore County has followed a predictable path. The school system defined its needs, the county executive determined how much the county could afford without raising the property tax or piggyback income tax rates, and the superintendent and school board quietly dialed down their request to comply. The County Council may make a trim here or there to demonstrate it was paying attention, but then that would be that. (Balt. Sun)

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