Opioid crisis has effect on schools, lawmakers told

The opioid crisis continues to have a significant effect on area schools. “Due to the opioid crisis, we have a significant amount of students coming to school not ready to learn,” Sara Beth Bittinger, president of the Allegany County Board of Education, said Wednesday. The opioid crisis and prekindergarten funding were the main topics during a pre-legislative breakfast Wednesday attended by board of education members from Allegany and Garrett counties and the District 1 legislative delegation. (Times-News)

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Carroll school board gets first look at budget, talks possible positions to help with mental health concerns

The Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education — with three new members — got its first look at the fiscal year 2020 budget Wednesday, which included discussions around needed mental health-related positions. While Wednesday was the first major discussion on next year’s budget with the school board, CCPS Superintendent Steve Lockard presented it with the caveat that the presentation was not the official budget request. (Carr. Co. Times)

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MoCo school board members advocate for higher salaries

Halfway through her first term on the Montgomery County Board of Education, At-Large member Jeanette Dixon said she may run for another four-year stint, but not for a third, in an effort to bring “fresh perspectives” to the board. While she didn’t advocate for mandating term limits during Tuesday’s school board meeting, Dixon, 69, said she believes board members should “self-limit” their terms to allow new people to join the board. She also said she believes school board members’ pay needs to be increased to allow younger or less-privileged people to run for office. (Bethesda)

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WCPS superintendent addresses bullying at listening session

Bullying at Washington County Public Schools was one of the top concerns at Thursday's listening session with Boyd Michael. It was the second of three announced sessions for the 2018-19 school year. Michael received several questions from parents and district staff members about processes to report and deal with bullying, what part counselors play and how parents can become more involved. (Herald-Mail)

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Class sizes, technology, teacher salaries lead budget hearing in Worcester County

As in years past, requests for funding to allow for fair teacher salaries, technology and small class sizes dominated a budget hearing hosted by the Worcester County Board of Education this week. On Tuesday, the school board heard budget requests from parents representing each of the county’s 14 schools. Aside from a few minor differences, all the school representatives want to see competitive salaries for local teachers, funding for the latest technology and for the school system to maintain small class sizes. (Dispatch)

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In Maryland, some schools overcome challenges to stand out in new rating system

Principal Matt Hornbeck rarely interrupts the school day to make announcements over the intercom. He doesn’t want to be a distraction during students’ time to learn. But on Tuesday, he couldn’t help himself. When he got the news that Hampstead Hill Academy was one of the top-performing schools in the city — and the state — he had to share it with the students, teachers and staff. “We’re an example of a city school that’s getting it done,” Hornbeck said. (Balt. Sun)

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Harford superintendent pleased with top rankings, expects more schools to rise in the future

The superintendent of Harford County schools said Thursday he’s pleased with the system’s performance in new state ranking released this week that show 10 county schools achieving a top five-star rank. Two days after the release of the new ratings, Superintendent Sean Bulson said he expects even more Harford schools will see their rankings improve in the future as officials share information with administrators about how the state establishes the rankings. (Aegis)

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Historically high-performing Walt Whitman underperforms on state report card

Bethesda's Walt Whitman High School is accustomed to appearing at or near the top of both local and national rankings of high schools. So, its failure to crack the top tier in this week's state report card was surprising to many. Nearly a quarter of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) received the maximum five-star rating in the newly revamped state report card, intended to measure a school's success, but Whitman did not. (Bethesda)

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