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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has formed an Office of Education Accountability.

Hogan announced Tuesday on the first day of school that he was creating the new office by executive order. Hogan is describing it as an independent watchdog that will be part of the Governor's Office for Children.

He says it will be responsible for making recommendations after evaluating problems with procurement, child abuse, neglect, safety, grading, graduation requirements and other matters relating to education.

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Democratic Club of Wicomico County is breaking with tradition.

It has endorsed independent candidate for Wicomico County Executive Jack Heath.

Club president Gains Hawkins said it was in large part because of Heath’s commitment to funding the county’s schools.

Heath said he was thrilled with the endorsement.

As for making education funding his top priority including universal Pre-K Heath said that could be done without a tax increase.

The decision was made at a meeting on Monday night with overwhelming support with no arguments.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware public school students made little to no overall progress on state assessments this year.

Test results released Wednesday by the Delaware Department of Education show that 44 percent of students in grades 3 through 8 rated proficient in math this year, down from 45 percent last year. The overall proficiency rate in English remained unchanged at 54 percent.

Meanwhile, only 28 percent of Delaware high school students taking the SAT rated proficient in math, down from 29 percent last year.

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Inmates at the Eastern Correctional Institution will be getting some help to further their education.

Principal June Brittingham says that those who are enrolled in GED classes will be soon be getting tablets.

WBOC reports that the state will put $50-thousand into expansion of the program.

Brittingham told the television station that the aim is to create more opportunity for the inmates when they seek a job after being released.

She says tablets have been shown to speed up the process of inmates passing the GED tests.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's state-owned lottery program had its best year on record with profits topping $600 million for the first time.

Gov. Ralph Northam's office announced Wednesday that the state lottery had a record $2.14 billion in sales in fiscal 2018.

Officials said lottery players took home $1.3 billion in prizes and 48 tickets won prizes of $1 million or more.

Lottery profits are used to bolster education spending. Virginia's state lottery started in 1988.

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PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) - New signs are up at three central Virginia elementary schools formerly named for Confederate leaders.

TV station WWBT reports the signage outside the Petersburg schools changed Tuesday, completing the transition to the new monikers.

The school names A.P. Hill, Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart were changed to Cool Spring Elementary, Lakemont Elementary and Pleasants Lane Elementary, respectively.

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The Delaware Department of Education has issued new administrative changes.

They no longer require schools to report offensive touching or threats to kill and seriously injure public school students or education staff.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the notice of the change was published six years after the Delaware legislature eliminated both terroristic threatening and offensive touching of school employees for mandatory reporting.

The paper reports this also means they will not have to be reported to police.

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The 2018 Kids Count Data Book has found that Maryland comes in at 15th for economic well-being and 17th in health. In addition, for education it ranks 9th in the country and 22nd in family and community. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Nonso Umunna, research director with Advocates for Children and Youth, about the results.

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(News Journa/AP) Delaware’s capital budget is expected to grow by 30 percent under legislation from the Joint Capital Improvement Committee.

The $769 million spending plan now heads to the full Assembly for a final vote.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports even that figure is not enough to meet the state demands that range from infrastructure to construction.

Although it is not the largest capital budget in the state’s history.

The budget is funded with nearly $189 million in tax revenue.

That’s compare to only $30 million two years ago.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is announcing $19 million in education funding to implement some of the recommendations of a high-profile commission.

Hogan said Thursday that the new money includes $4.5 million for before- and afterschool academic programs, $2.5 million for an early literacy program and $2 million for career and technical education.

He also authorized an additional $1.8 million in need-based higher-education scholarships.

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EASTON, Md. (AP) - A Maryland county board of education has settled a lawsuit with a transgender teen that it tried to block from using certain locker rooms.

The Daily Record of Baltimore reports 16-year-old Max Brennan filed the lawsuit when his middle school barred him from using boys' facilities. A release by a member of the lawsuit says Talbot County defendants will pay $20 in damages. Brennan also will have permanent access to boys' facilities.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has given final approval to a bill aimed at protecting Delaware school students and teachers from shootings.

The legislation approved unanimously Thursday requires all new school construction and major renovation projects to include measures to prevent a gunman from wreaking havoc.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has vetoed a measure relating to the composition of the state school board.

The bill vetoed Thursday would have increased the size of the Maryland State Board of Education from 12 to 15 to members by adding two certified teachers and one parent of a public school student.

The governor opposes the bill because it would have required him to appoint two teachers recommended by teachers unions.

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Business owners and parents jammed themselves into a meeting this week of the Wicomico County Council  considering  a Board of Education request for an increase in funding for the local schools.

Among the programs backed by many in the audience was Superintendent Donna Hanlin’s “Imagine 2022” plan.

WBOC reports that among other features it envisions a county-wide Pre-K program along with increasing teacher salaries to avoid turnover.

The Board of Education is requesting an additional $7 million for its 2019 fiscal budget.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney and state Delaware Education Secretary Susan Bunting have set up a new Teachers Advisory Council to gather feedback from educators on policy decisions.

Bunting invited two teachers from each of the state's 19 school districts and six charter school educators to join the group. The council, announced Tuesday, will met bi-monthly to discuss a variety of issues affecting teachers.

Don Rush

Too many requests. Not enough money.

That’s the word from Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver as he ponders the department requests for the 2019 budget.

During a budget hearing last night Culver said that the county’s expenses have increased such that it would be difficult to full fill the request from the Wicomico Board of Education.

WBOC reports that to do so he said would require an increase in local property taxes by 12 to 13 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Culver added that just isn’t going go over with local residents.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Taxes on casino revenue set aside for Maryland's education trust fund would have to be used to enhance school funding above state formulas, under a measure passed by the Maryland Senate.

The vote Monday night was unanimous. The bill would put the matter on the ballot as a constitutional amendment for voters to decide in November.

Supporters say it could add roughly $500 million a year when fully phased in over four years.

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Schools are gearing up for a planned student walkout tomorrow on the one month anniversary of the Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Wicomico County Board of Education said it is working with the Student Government Association presidents at each high school to prepare for the day to honor those who lost their lives.

Meanwhile, in Somerset County the Superintendent John Gaddis issued an email that said was finalizing it plans for the walkout.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware education officials are asking lawmakers for more than $52 million in additional spending next year, citing the need for more teachers to address skyrocketing numbers of students identified as having special needs.

The request presented to the legislature's budget committee Thursday includes about $16.4 million for 190 new positions, on top of 52 positions currently funded with the state budget office's contingency money.

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The Wicomico County School Board says it expects to fall short by just over $9 million for the fiscal year budget of 2018 to 2019.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the school system is now slated for a General Operating budget of around $194.4 million.

That’s an increase of just over $2 million.

But in order to fill that gap the board says that figure should $203 million.

The board will be finalizing its budget over the next several months and Superintendent Donna Hanlin says public input will be important in developing the spending blue print.

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Governor Larry Hogan delivered his final State of the State address in his first term calling for bipartisanship, but Democrats delivered sharp response. Delmarva Public Radios Don Rush has this look at the speech and reaction.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers want to change the state constitution to require money raised by the state's casinos for education to enhance schools funding above the amount set by state formulas.

House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced plans for legislation Tuesday. They were joined by educators from the Maryland State Education Association and dozens of Democrats, who control the General Assembly.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are set to vote this week on a bill aimed at protecting Delaware school students and teachers from shootings.

The bill to be voted on Tuesday requires all new school construction and major school renovation projects to include measures to prevent a gunman from wreaking havoc.

The construction standards include an intruder alarm, bulletproof glass in entrance areas and on interior doors and windows, and doors that can be locked from either side with a key.

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In his State of the State address Governor John Carney told lawmakers that they must come together to solve the budget issues that are now facing the First State.

The Delaware Democrat said that they must also find ways to improve the economy and bring better education to the state’s children.

The governor warned lawmakers not to use one-time revenue shortfalls but rather focus on structural budgetary reforms.

Carney called for additional funding next year for to hire nearly 200 teachers to deal with the increase in the number of students attending school.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is providing some highlights of his budget proposal.

Hogan said Tuesday it will include about $6.5 billion for K-12 education, a record amount for the state.

Hogan says every single school system in Maryland will see increased funding. The governor says the state is investing an additional $365 million more in school construction, bringing the total to $1.4 billion.

The budget also contains $1.38 billion for the University of Maryland, an increase over last year.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Senate has passed a bill granting federal recognition to six American Indian tribes in Virginia, a move that makes the tribes eligible for federal money for education, housing and health care.

The bill will now be sent to the president's desk. It gives the Rappahannock, Monacan, Nansemond, Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy and Eastern Chickahominy tribes a status they have sought for two decades. Many of the members of the tribes are descendants of Pocahontas' Virginia Powhatan tribe.

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BURKE, Va. (AP) - A high school student in northern Virginia says a teacher pulled her hijab from her head, prompting the school system to put the teacher on leave.

The student posted on Twitter that she was infuriated by the actions of the teacher Wednesday at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.

Fairfax County Public Schools said in a statement Thursday that the teacher's action was inappropriate and unacceptable. The schools said the teacher has been put on leave while the headscarf incident is investigated.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Some Republican lawmakers and a conservative group are criticizing Delaware's proposed nondiscrimination policy for transgender students in schools.  
The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, reported Monday that the proposal would let students self-identify their gender without telling their parents. Schools could also provide access to locker rooms and bathrooms that correspond with a students' gender identity
Democratic Gov. John Carney in July directed the Department of Education to come up with the policy.

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Accomack County will be electing their school board.

That was the decision by voters yesterday in a decision replace the appointment of the board.

WBOC reports that the vote was overwhelming with 72 percent favoring an elected board.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware State University has named the board chair as interim president while a search goes on for a new leader.

The university said Thursday that Wilma Mishoe, the first woman to chair the board, will take over as interim president on Jan. 25. The current president, Harry Williams, announced recently that he become CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in Washington.

The News Journal reports that Wilma Mishoe's father was Luna Mishoe, who was president of then-Delaware State College from 1960 to 1987.