Weekly News Roundup: CEO Proposes $2 Billion Budget, ESSA Signed into Law

Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell gave his yearly state of the schools address on Thursday, outlining a proposed operating budget of $2 billion, a 9.9% increase in spending over the current year. Among Maxwell’s priorities are reducing class sizes in the early grades, raising teacher salaries, and expanding pre-kindergarten.  (Washington Post)

Find the full version of the CEO’s proposed fiscal year 2017 operating budget on the Department of Budget and Management Services’ webpage.

Three community meetings will be held next week to discuss possible school closings and boundary changes. The three community discussions will be held at Accokeek Academy (Monday, December 14), Northwestern High School (Tuesday, December 15), and Andrew Jackson Academy (Wednesday, December 16). All meetings begin at 6:30 pm.  (PGCPS)

Several families have spoken to the Washington Post about corporal punishment at Dora Kennedy French Immersion School in Greenbelt (Washington Post). In October, we published one parent’s account here.

The PARCC results are in for elementary and high school students. Among PGCPS students in grades 3-8, about 25% of students taking the English Language Arts/Literacy assessment and 15% of students taking the mathematics assessment received a score of 4 or 5. Performance is graded on a five-point scale, with a score of 4 indicating that the student “met expectations” and a score of 5 indicating that expectations were exceeded. Read stories at pgcps.org, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and on this blog. Find detailed results for every county and school in Maryland at the Maryland Report Card.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a replacement for the 2002 No Child Left Behind law, was signed into law on Thursday, significantly reducing the influence of the federal government on the nation’s schools. The new law retains the requirement for annual testing in math and reading in grades three through eight and once in high school, but under ESSA, states will decide how to help underperforming schools and how to evaluate teachers. The legislation also forbids the U.S. secretary of education from pressuring states to adopt certain benchmarks and standards, such as the Common Core State Standards. (Washington Post)

Starting next spring, lacrosse will be a varsity sport in Prince George’s County high schools, with seven schools fielding boys’ teams and eight schools fielding girls’ teams. Lacrosse has been played as a club sport in some county schools for nearly twenty years. (Washington Post)

Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw is retiring from the police department but is taking a new position as director of all public safety for the county. Magaw was appointed as police chief five years ago and is credited with helping to boost the police department’s reputation. Deputy Police Chief Hank Stawinski has been named interim police chief (NBC 4). Read the Washington Post’s story here.

The University of Maryland will change the name of its football stadium from the Harry C. “Curley” Byrd Stadium to the Maryland Stadium, after a vote on Friday by the Board of Regents. Byrd was the president of the university from 1935 to 1954 and during his tenure he opposed admitting black students. Current president Wallace Loh recommended the name change. (Baltimore Sun)

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