Monthly Archives: January 2014

Donnie Dukes, special education teacher in Prince George’s, being placed on leave

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Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer at Options Public Charter School, arrives at the school.

A special education teacher in Prince George’s County is being placed on administrative leave after school officials learned Wednesday that he pleaded guilty to overbilling the District for bus rides that his company never provided to students.

Donnie Dukes, who previously worked as a compliance officer in the District and operated a student transportation business, admitted on Wednesday that he charged the city for $300,000 worth of rides that were never given.

Dukes, who also previously worked as a principal of Options Public Charter School, was hired in Prince George’s in August 2012. Dukes works at Parkdale High School in Riverdale Park, school officials said. >>> Read more Washington Post

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Parkdale High School in PGCPS District is affected by Options Public Charter School fiasco in Washington DC.

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Read more about previous coverage here >>>> Embezzlement in Education using charter schools in Washington DC and Maryland with Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer.

Former PGCPS Board Member Exposed The Truth About Our School Board…

…However, despite efforts to expose the issues of worry, concern continues to persist. Only this time, there is cover up than real solutions.

‌‌Corruption in the public sector  hampers the efficiency of public services, undermines confidence in public institutions and increases the cost of public transactions. Integrity is essential for building strong institutions resistant to corruption.  We deserve better! Let us continue to advocate for what is right and save PGCPS.

One way in which we can help the school system and other institutions  is ensuring that the integrity of government decision-making is not compromised by public officials. private interests is a growing public concern and is affecting communities not only in PGCPS District but around the world. New forms of partnership between government and the private and non-profit sectors present new challenges for policy-makers and public managers.

Effectively managing conflict of interest requires a balance. A too-strict approach to controlling private interests may conflict with other rights or be unworkable or deter experienced and competent potential candidates from entering public office or public service.

However, to be successful,  a modern approach to conflict-of-interest policy seeks to strike a balance by: identifying risks; prohibiting unacceptable forms of private interest; raising awareness of the circumstances in which conflicts can arise; and ensuring effective procedures to resolve conflict-of-interest situations. As we move forward into the future in the next several months, we will be highlighting some of the areas which we feel deserves attention. We deserve better solutions and proper accountability mechanism rather than band aid. Those who speak the truth and protect us all, must be rewarded irrespective of their background.

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1 Samuel 18:30

‘Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers.’

– David was a man who enjoyed the blessing of God on his life.
– As a result he saw more success than those around him.
– Trust God for His blessing on your life – ask Him to do it.
– Then expect to walk in that favour regardless of the circumstances.

PRAY: Lord, You know exactly what I am facing and going through. I take a moment right now to ask for Your hand of blessing on my life. Amen.

Have a great Thursday.

Busch hears from teachers about salary, workload, Common Core

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MICHAEL ERIN BUSCH, Speaker of House of Delegates
Democrat, District 30, Anne Arundel County

From workload woes to complaints about salaries, House Speaker Michael E. Busch heard it all.

The Annapolis Democrat, a former teacher in county public and private schools, spoke to members of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County on Saturday at Union Jack’s, three days after the start of the 2014 legislative session.

The General Assembly, Busch said, pumps $6.2 billion into Maryland schools, making the state’s education system one of the best funded in the country.

“We have two constitutional mandates — to balance the budget and adequately fund education,” Busch said, pointing out that Maryland’s state government is one of the few that contributes money toward school construction.

“You either fund education, or you don’t. It’s not a complex issue,” he said.

Some county teachers, though, told Busch funding still lags in some areas.

One, who said she had been teaching for 24 years, said Anne Arundel teachers can go to neighboring counties and earn far more. She said one teacher she knows recently left for a job in Calvert County, getting a raise of $11,000 per year.

“We are behind,” she said, as other teachers applauded.

Interim schools Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins’ fiscal 2015 budget proposal includes a 2 percent raise for all employees.

Last June, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted 8-1 to give employees raises that vary depending on the worker’s position and union representation.

In fall 2012, according to the state Department of Education, the average teacher in Anne Arundel County earned $61,643 per year. Statewide, the average salary was $64,248.

The salary concerns, coupled with growing stress over workload, have many teachers wanting to flee the profession, several educators said.

Teachers aired similar concerns Thursday night at a hearing in Annapolis on the school budget.

Retired teacher Lois Nicoletti told Busch she spent so much time documenting student progress and collecting data she felt she had no time for actual instruction.

“When was I supposed to teach?” Nicoletti said.

Another teacher, a 42-year veteran of the profession, said he has never seen it as tough as it is right now, particularly with this year’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards for curriculum.

Richard Benfer, TAAAC’s president, told Busch that before the meeting he asked one teacher how she was doing. She got so emotional she had to walk away, Benfer said.

A teacher in the audience began to sniffle.

“It’s kind of ridiculously crazy,” Benfer said.

After the gathering, Busch said he expects state lawmakers to look at Common Core and figure out its strengths and weaknesses. The Anne Arundel County delegation is scheduled to hold a meeting on Common Core on Jan. 28 in Annapolis.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how we adopted Common Core,” Busch said. “But I think it’s always good to review.”

“All these people here are dedicated, and they want to see the system work.”

Session 2013

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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Dear Friends,

Today, we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King taught us that “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve”.

Last August, the Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington by joining thousands at the Lincoln Memorial. We were so inspired by the March and proud that we were able to participate in such a historic event. While much has been accomplished, we must continue to strive for Dr. King’s dream of equality and opportunity for all including for immigrants throughout the world.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to continuing our work of transforming the County.

Sincerely,

Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County

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Background and Unique ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Few people in American history have had as strong an impact on the United States as Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights leader who was slain in 1968 at the age of 39. Through his message of nonviolence and civil disobedience as a means to advancing civil rights for all people, King changed the lives of millions. Those changes are still felt today, nearly half a century after his death.

Though his death was tragic, King’s life remains something to celebrate, a fact recognized by the federal government in 1983, when President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. Since 2000, all 50 states have observed the holiday, which has been observed on the third Monday of January each year since 1992. For many, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a time to reflect on King’s life and advance his message. Children do not have school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, making the holiday an ideal time for parents to teach their kids about King and his lasting legacy. The following are a few unique ways adults and children alike can celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Give back to your community. A community leader who made countless sacrifices for both his own community and the nationwide community of those denied their civil rights, King is perhaps best honored by those who make efforts to give back to their communities. Parents can take their youngsters to volunteer and help the less fortunate, be it working at a soup kitchen or an assisted living facility. Many communities host outreach events on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and adults and children can take advantage of such events to honor King’s legacy.

Read about the Civil Rights Movement with your children. Thanks to advancements in technology, men, women and children now have a wealth of information at their fingertips. This makes it easy for parents to discuss the Civil Rights Movement, and King’s role in that movement, with their children. The older kids are, the more detailed parents can be when explaining the struggles King encountered. Even adults without children are likely to be enlightened by studying the Civil Rights Movement and King’s life in closer detail.

Listen to or read King’s speeches. Renowned for his abilities as an orator, King gave numerous speeches throughout his life, many of which are equally, if not more, moving today than they were during his lifetime. While King’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered in 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is widely known, King gave many more speeches throughout his lifetime. Such speeches are an invaluable resource for those interested in learning about the life of King and his beliefs.

The life of Martin Luther King, Jr. is something to celebrate, and the holiday in his name is a great time to reflect on and study his life while making efforts to improve your community.

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Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. ~~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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