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Friday, February 24, 2006

Education News (Thursday)

(Posted 23 Feb 2006)
Posted separately: School CEO; School violence
  • School board hopefuls wait on Annapolis; Many candidates aren’t filing until they know if the board will be elected by district or countywide.
  • The slow turning legislative wheels in Annapolis are keeping potential candidates for the Prince George’s County elected school board guessing. Those interested have delayed officially filing their candidacy until they find out if campaigns will need to focus on a single district or countywide.
    [. . .]
    So far, the only candidate to officially file for the November election is [tag] of Upper Marlboro. Fellows said she is frustrated by the process just as the other candidates are. She said there was little good reason why the Annapolis legislature had not come to an agreement on the election sooner.
    [. . .]
    Probable candidates, such as [tag] of the Buck Lodge Civic Association near Beltsville, said they are hindered by the delay. Candidates cannot raise funds per election law until they have officially filed.
    [. . .]
    Morgan believes that because of the legislative limbo in Annapolis over the board election, lesser-known candidates won’t be able to raise money as quickly for the September primary.

    That would benefit candidates such as current appointed School Board Vice Chairman [tag], who has greater connections to county political contributors and has announced plans to run for election.

    ‘‘It does put us at a disadvantage, very much so,” Morgan said.
    [. . .]
    Del. Doyle Niemann (D-Dist. 47) of Mount Rainier said any candidates who could attach themselves to a delegate or senator in the upcoming election would have the upper hand, especially if the at-large election came into play
    [. . .]
    [tag], a former county teacher from Suitland, has also said he plans to file.
  • Hispanic high school dropout rate nearly doubles; Hispanic high school dropout rate nearly doubles.
  • More than seven percent of Hispanic high school students in Prince George’s County public schools dropped out in 2004-05, logging the highest dropout rate for any ethnic group and nearly doubling the dropout rate for the previous year.

    By comparison, 3.9 percent of white high school students dropped out, up from the previous year’s 3.57 percent rate. African-Americans had a 3.16 percent dropout rate, an increase over the 2.76 percent rate in 2003-04.
    [. . .].
  • School Board OKs $110M budget increase; Johnson expected to agree with most school board priorities.
  • The fiscal 2007 budget approved by the county school board last week asks the county government for $1.5 billion in operational funds, up nearly 10 percent over the current year.

    The new budget, passed at the Feb. 16 board meeting, provides $109.6 million extra for the school system which will be doled out to increase pre-kindergarten classes, hire more teachers for both regular and special education classes and better prepare students for the state assessment exams.

    Last year’s budget was about $1.38 billion.

    ‘‘Overall, student achievement has risen for the last two years because parents and schools have made education a priority,” said School Board Chair [tag]. ‘‘We must continue to make improvements and provide the resources that are needed in every school and for every child and their teachers.”
    [. . .]
    After Johnson reviews the budget the request and makes changes, if he wishes, he submits a proposal to the County Council by March 31. The council will hold hearings and finalize a budget by June 1.
    [. . .].

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