Verletta White: Baltimore County won't adopt universal free school meals; here's why

As we prepare for every new school year, the educators and leaders of Baltimore County Public Schools continue to ask ourselves what more we can do to support every young person entrusted to our care. Providing highly effective instruction every day means wrapping our arms around each of our young people and meeting their individual needs. When it comes to the most basic of needs, we know that hunger can be a barrier to learning. Our schools have a powerful opportunity to nourish students with meals as well as innovative learning experiences, and we take that opportunity seriously. (Balt. Sun)

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Joe Bartenfelder: Md. is working to resolve the farmers market food stamp problem

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that they will begin to phase out the use of Novo Dia Group’s MobileMarket+ software — a popular program used to process SNAP/EBT benefits at farmers markets. Understandably, this has led to some concern and confusion among our farmers and citizens who rely on SNAP benefits to purchase fresh, nutritious foods from their local market. As Secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture and a lifelong farmer, I can assure you that the Hogan administration is aware of the issue, and we are working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

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Tricia Bishop: Howard County school board needs to grow up

The Howard County Board of Education claims its mission is to “provide leadership for excellence in teaching and learning by fostering a climate for deliberative change through policy and community engagement.” Besides the nature of the “deliberative change” they’re seeking, I wonder about exactly where in that pursuit this alleged behavior fits: making homophobic remarks, hiring an attorney to bully school system employees and inducing “a sense of fear in central office staff.” (Balt. Sun)

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August 2 // Katherine Rediger: Body health depends on mental health

Baltimore is the epicenter of trauma in the U.S. — gun violence, mass incarceration, poverty, heroin. I care for some of the most marginalized people in the nation, whom we refer to as “high-needs, high-cost” — the latest in a series of labels for a population that is facing multiple medical and behavioral health comorbidities, in addition to extreme poverty and social dysfunction. More often than not, my patients come to me with physical complaints that stem from an underlying psychological maladaptation to stress. (Balt. Sun)

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Alexandra Neuhaus-Follini and 93 other signatories: Amid “Me Too” allegations, constituents want Del. Curt Anderson to resign

Shortly before the Democratic Party primary last month, veteran state legislator Curt Anderson confirmed that he was under investigation by the Maryland General Assembly’s ethics committee for sexual harassment and misconduct. Since then, residents of North Baltimore’s 43rd District have pressed legislative leaders to ask Anderson, who has denied the allegations, to step down. With this letter, sent to Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Kathleen Matthews, 94 district residents are demanding that party leaders ask Anderson to resign on August 14 if he has not been cleared of charges by the ethics committee. (Brew)

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Joseph Lamp: Time for term limits on AACC Board of Trustees

The process by which the Anne Arundel Community Colleges Board of Trustees ultimately denied a humble, well documented and funded request to honor two forgotten founding fathers, advocated by some of the college’s highest ranked faculty, staff, and public supporters raises concerns for the college going forward. Concerns suggesting the need for an external review, with recommendations for revitalizing this governing body entrusted with the final say on key college policy and programs (The Capital, Jan. 18) Denying the request was the board’s prerogative. We must accept that. Yet when the board put these advocates through 16 months of bureaucratic charades, no replies to multiple offers to meet in person, while the advocates waited patiently is unacceptable. (Capital)

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More trouble at FCC

It is impossible to understand completely the inner workings of any institution from the outside, be it a marriage or a community college. Conceding that fact, though, we are troubled by the latest controversy over the leadership of Frederick Community College. This vital institution is once again riven by a faculty revolt, just five years after another disastrous internal battle. Once again, the storm clouds are swirling around the college’s president. In 2013, it was Frederico “F.J.” Talley, fired after a six-month tenure for reasons that were never explained by the then-board of trustees. Now his successor, Elizabeth Burmaster, is under extreme pressure from the faculty, accused of bullying, abuse and harassment. (News-Post)

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Why hide Kavanaugh's White House past?

Just because the current political landscape in Washington suggests most, if not all, Senate Democrats will oppose Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court while their Republican counterparts are likely to endorse it, that doesn’t absolve the Senate from its constitutional duties. Advice and consent should be informed. Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination deserves to be fully scrutinized and the American people better educated on the consequences of his lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. (Balt. Sun)

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