Tag Archives: public schools

Prince George’s Co. bus drivers worried office infested with mold

IMG_9153PRINCE GEORGE’S CO., MD (WUSA9) – Bus drivers with Prince George’s County Public Schools say the office they check in and out of every day is making them sick. Many are worried the building is infested with mold.

“It’s unbearable. When you go in there you just smell some kind of weird odor”, said driver Kirt Williams. “And then after that your throats starts scratching and your nose feels kinda funny. And with me, my eyes get real watery.”

The building is a temporary trailer, but Driver Tujuana Bigelow said it has been there for about twenty years old.

“It’s hard- our foreman is in such bad shape being in that building all day long he was in the emergency room last night,” she said. “So I mean we can’t continue to work in this environment.

One hundred and eight bus drivers go in and out of the building each day.

Officials with the PGCPS said the building had been tested earlier this week to confirm whether there is mold.

Prince George’s County School Board member Edward Burroughs III said he’s been waiting at the site all week for testing crews- that didn’t show up.

“Frankly, I’m livid,” he said. “And if it has been tested Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday where are the results? We need to make those results public.”

The building was tested Wednesday afternoon.

Susan Nelson is among others who are now wearing face masks when they go into work.

“It feels like your throat is stopping up for one thing, you nose gets discomfort, very much so, and your eyes water,” she said.

via WUSA9

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PGCPS FY 2018 Budget Hearing at Charles Herbert HS

hqdefaultThe Prince George’s County Board of Education held its first public hearing on the fiscal year 2018 operating budget on January 24, 2017 at Charles Herbert Flowers High School. Various members of the public spoke at the hearing. A Board of Education budget work session immediately preceded the hearing.

Ms. Tonya Wingfield presented her analysis  following the Board hearing you can watch her comments below.  The public will have an opportunity to comment at other hearings and/or to submit written comments during other dates in the future. The proposed Operating Budget for PGCPS Fiscal Year 2018, is found here. The preliminary proposed budget is submitted and annually reviewed by Prince George’s county citizenry and interested parties; upon approval, the final budget goes into effect July 1.

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Education leaders in Maryland involved in Corruption wary of Gov. Hogan’s plans

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

SEABROOK – In the same week that Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell announced his proposed budget, seeking more investment in the public school system, Gov. Larry Hogan announced his plans to put more state money toward private schools.

On Dec. 13, at a private school in Baltimore, Hogan announced his intent to double the funding for private school vouchers over the next three years. Last year Hogan, in partnership with the Maryland General Assembly, passed a bill to launch the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) program with an initial funding amount of $5 million.

“Our administration has made education our number one priority, and we are working hard to ensure that every single child in Maryland is given the chance for a great education, regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in,” Hogan said.

The BOOST program helps low-income families pay for their students to attend non-public schools by providing scholarships to students. When the program started, BOOST had an advisory board that determined the criteria for eligible students and the schools the students could attend. That board also set the scholarship amount.

During the inaugural year BOOST received more than 5,000 applications statewide, from which more than 3,000 were approved for the program.

Hogan believes the overwhelming response shows a need for further investment in the program.

“This year, we will again be funding the BOOST program, and we will be doubling the total funding over the next three years to $10 million in scholarships by Fiscal Year 2020,” he said.

Although Hogan has made his intentions clear, and believes in the BOOST program, some in the public school realm believe the move is a step in the wrong direction. Especially when the public school system in Maryland, inspite of gains, requires new investments to further programs and address a backlog of capital improvements needs.

Maryland State Educators Association (MSEA) President Betty Weller called Hogan’s plan a “Trump-like initiative” that would send Maryland taxpayer money away from public schools to private schools.

“According to independent experts, Maryland’s public schools currently have $2.9 billion less than what they need to help every child succeed,” she said. “Our kids rely on strong neighborhood public schools to prepare them for a college education and stable career, and we have a moral obligation to fill those equity gaps.”

While $5 million over three years may be a drop in the bucket for the state’s budget, MSEA sees the investment in BOOST as a redirection of funds from the public school system. Weller called the BOOST program wasteful and said the General Assembly should stand with public schools by eliminating the program.

“Maryland educators are deeply frustrated by Gov. Hogan’s proposal to drain twice as many resources from our public schools to subsidize private schools. The governor’s alliance with President-elect Donald Trump – who has proposed the idea of using $20 billion in taxpayer money for private school vouchers – on privatizing our public schools should be alarming to every Marylander who believes in the importance of public education,” Weller said.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, III shared similar thoughts, urging Gov. Hogan to reinvest in the public school system rather than on private school vouchers.

“Gov. Hogan’s proposal to spend $10 million on private school vouchers sends the wrong message about Maryland’s commitment to a great public education for every child,” Baker said in a statement. “Our public schools serve students from every neighborhood, every socioeconomic group, and every race, religion, gender and learning level. Instead of diverting money away from students who need it most, I urge Gov. Hogan to reinvest in Maryland’s public schools.”

In Prince George’s County, Maxwell just proposed a $2.05 billion schools budget, and while that budget will be looked at by both the county board of education and the county council, the budget asks for a large increase in state funding.

This year’s proposal requests more than $1.12 billion from the state, which is more than $33 million more than the previous year, and a move like Hogan’s may cast doubt on how far the state is willing to go to see improvements in local public school systems.

“Diverting public funds towards private school vouchers is the wrong approach. Now is the time to increase on our investment in public schools so that every student receives the 21st-century education they deserve,” Baker said.

Still, the state received more than 5,000 applications for the program, which specifically targets “areas with under-performing schools,” showing that there is interest in the program.

Ultimately, the General Assembly will decide the fate of the funds.

via Prince George’s County sentinel

 

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Maryland residents tackle topic of racism.

What about in Prince George’s County Maryland?……Still1220_00001_1482294569880_7435270_ver1.0.jpgHOWARD CO., MD (WUSA9) – More than 400 people packed an auditorium at Howard County Community College Tuesday night to discuss a recent increase in racist incidents in the area.

WUSA9 learned a Howard County student recently wrote a racial slur on social media. There have been other racists acts in the community this year too.

In January, a viral video showed an Ellicott City student calling blacks an “inferior race”.

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings attended the discussion. He told WUSA9 he believes many racists were emboldened by some of the opinions expressed during 2016 Presidential campaign.

“The election we just went through caused a lot of people who may have had these negative feelings to suddenly begin to express them,” he said.

Columbia resident Jonah Hornum, 18, welcomed the chance to talk about how racism impacts people in his community. He spoke at the event about how some of his fellow students bully him about his Jewish heritage.

“It made me feel upset and disgusted that in 2016 this would happen,” he said.

He said he hoped by telling his story he would be able to stop others from committing offensive acts.

If you see a hate crime in Maryland, you’re encouraged to call a new state hotline at 1-866-481-8361.

via wusa9

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PGCPS Child-porn suspect allegedly gave phones to students to videotape acts

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Deonte Carraway, 22, instructed the children to take photos or videos of various sexual acts and collected the phones at the end of the day.

An elementary school volunteer charged with creating child pornography during school hours and on school grounds distributed phones to his victims to communicate with them, according to three individuals familiar with the investigation.

Deonte Carraway, 22, instructed the children to take photos or videos of various sexual acts and collected the phones at the end of the day, said the individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about the ongoing case.

Two of those individuals also said Carraway would tell the children to whom he gave phones that they were part of a “club.”

The detail about the phones emerged as Prince George’s County officials confirmed that John Brooks, who has served as an interim administrator at several county schools, has been appointed acting principal at Judge Sylvania W. Woods Elementary School, where police say Carraway abused and made videos of victims.

Schools officials have said Carraway served as a volunteer shelving library books at the Maryland school.

Brooks’s appointment was effective Friday, but school officials declined to release the letter sent to families about the change, saying officials wanted parents to have the information before it was shared with news media.

Police charged Carraway, of Glenarden, Md., on Feb. 5 with 10 counts of felony child pornography. Authorities have identified 17 children between 9 and 13 years old whom Carraway abused or recorded performing “vile sexual acts,” police said. He has been connected to about 40 videos, police said.

Carraway also victimized children at Zion Praise Tabernacle Lutheran Church, the Glenarden Municipal Center and the Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatics Center, police said. Carraway admitted to creating the videos, and the victim count is likely to grow, police said. Carraway is being held on a $1 million bond.

The case has angered parents, who want school officials to answer questions about how ­Carraway was supervised and why he had sufficient access to children to allow him to perpetrate the alleged crimes.

The case also has prompted two civil lawsuits against the Prince George’s County school board.

“Carraway was able to openly entice these children to perform sexual acts openly on school property because of the complete absence of any supervision and oversight of his conduct or behavior involving these children,” says a lawsuit filed by Maryland attorneys Timothy Maloney and David Simpson.

Maloney said lawyers have “heard from a significant number of other victims” since the lawsuits were filed last week.

Brooks is filling in for the Sylvania Woods principal, Michelle Williams, who has held the post for 10 years. Williams was placed on paid administrative leave out of “an abundance of caution” after Carraway’s arrest, school system officials said last week.

According to 2014 news reports, Brooks filled in at another county school — Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Laurel — after an alleged punching incident involving a principal. Two years earlier, he stepped in at Ernest E. Just Middle School in Mitchellville after a principal resigned.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the Carraway case to call 800-CALL-FBI or 301-772-4930.

Via Washington Post 

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Unbeliavable! 2 PGCPS girls can still ride school bus after beating up 11-year-old boy!

 

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ACCOKEEK, Md. (ABC7) — A sixth grade student was brutally beaten by two girls on a school bus December 16, 2015, as the bus pulled out of Accokeek Academy. The entire incident was caught on camera.

At the time, the young boy’s parents wanted to know why the school that bills itself as a “bully free zone” did nothing to stop the attack.

The parents say that when their son sat down next to an older girl on Wednesday, Dec. 16, she told him he could not sit there. When their son refused to get up, that’s when his parents say the girl punched him in the face, and her sister joined in.

“They just maliciously and viciously beat my son,” Myles’ parents said.

Now a few weeks after the incident, Myles’ parents are upset again after they found out the two girls can still ride the bus with their son, says a representative from Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Accokeek Academy said it suspended the two girls for the attack, and initially told the Slade’s that the girls would be transferred to another school in the same county.

“The two young girls will be transferred to another school in the same school district,” Shawn Slade told us about what they were told from the school.

But now Shawn and Lesley Slade say they received word yesterday that the girls – seen beating up their son in the video – will remain at Accokeek Academy, and even be allowed to ride the bus.

“They will be allowed to ride the school bus,” Shawn Slade told us. “I was appalled. I mean, he’s the victim and this is how you treat him?”

The rep says that the school system is following its practices and procedures, and that nothing requires them to transfer these girls to another school.

Unhappy with that, the Slade’s say they are going to court on Monday to obtain a restraining order to keep these girls away from their son.

Read more>>>

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PGCPS misleads the public on school lunches fiasco.

CNhioWDUsAA3-VYThe “can’t fix, won’t play by the rules” mantra by the PGCPS regime in response to the original tweet and the food did not come from their schools despite a tweet from a student on August 28th, 2015. (See below). The tweet shows an expired juice being served to the students.

This approach of misleading and falsifying information to the public rubbishes those who take care of our poor children in public schools every day, and also depicts a regime that is fully committed to the return of the imperial superintendency that caused this county so much pain and damage over the years.

So much so, that eliminating this sort of superintendency was the major reason for the demands for a new constitution for county schools in Maryland General assembly through HB1107.

In their press release, Their conclusion was that none of those pictures came out of a Prince George’s County school cafeteria. They said they know this because some of the trays, food items and milk brands aren’t stocked here.

And yes, while it is not as simple as re-allocating funds after the budget has been passed, a gesture of goodwill to engage the law makers, teachers, students, bus drivers, civil society etc in discussions on how, and when, these problems could resolved would be a healthy sign of good faith and respect.

This year the regime requested more millions for schools, an increase of several millions over the previous year and yet, they are in trouble accounting for simple things like good food for the students within the schools. This is the highest rise for schools in the region and one of the highest in the world.

We certainly need to demand better food security for our students this year, given the serious crisis of corruption within the county schools here in Prince George’s County, but throwing money at the Prince George’s County Public Schools is not the only way to deal with insecurity, especially when impunity, corruption and disrespect thrive.

>>> Read investigative news here. 

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