State Roundup: Superintendent Wright pushes for more teacher diversity; grant to give ‘science of reading’ training to 33,500 teachers

State Roundup: Superintendent Wright pushes for more teacher diversity; grant to give ‘science of reading’ training to 33,500 teachers

BECAUSE TODAY IS HOT: The waterfront at St. Michaels. Photo by rebeccajgale, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

SUPERINTENDENT WRIGHT PUSHES MORE TEACHER DIVERSITY: Maryland State Schools Superintendent Carey Wright said Tuesday that school leaders must work harder to diversify and boost the state’s teacher workforce. “It’s got to be a conscious effort,” Wright said during a break at the state Board of Education meeting in Baltimore. “Are we really going into our HBCUs? Are we recruiting? What do those techniques look like?” William Ford/Maryland Matters.

33,500 TEACHERS TO GET ‘SCIENCE OF READING’ TRAINING: The Maryland State Board of Education will use a $6.85 million grant to offer free training on the science of reading for 33,500 teachers and school leaders over the next four years. State Superintendent Carey Wright announced the grant from the Ibis Group, a national literacy nonprofit, in a board meeting Tuesday. She said this training is a direct response to teacher requests for professional development in the reading method. Bri Hatch/WYPR-FM.

SOME JUVIE SEX OFFENDERS NOW BANNED FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Certain juvenile sex offenders will no longer be allowed to attend Maryland public schools in person. Legislation just signed into law in Annapolis aims to make schools safer. Chris Papst/WBFF-TV.

MARYLAND’s MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH SCORES A ‘C:’ Maryland’s capacity to care for the mental health of mothers and pregnant people ranked higher than 37 states, but still only scored a C, in a new report by a national nonprofit. The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health gave the United States a national grade of D+ on its 2024 Maternal Mental Health State Report Card. Individually, 29 states received Ds or Fs. Marcus Dieterle/Baltimore Fishbowl.

DALI RETURNS TO PORT; MOORE LOOKS TO BRIDGE REBUILD: With a backdrop cleared of a container ship for the first time in eight weeks, Gov. Wes Moore on Tuesday thanked the Unified Command and other officials for a quick and decisive response to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. But the mission is far from complete, he said. “I will not be satisfied until I can look over this same site and see the Francis Scott Key Bridge standing again. That’s mission completion,” Moore said. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

VA APPROVES HALF OF TOXIC EXPOSURE CLAIMS FROM MARYLAND VETS: The Department of Veterans Affairs said this week that 1 million claims have been granted for benefits under the toxic exposure law that Congress approved less than two years ago, following the military’s use of open-air burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Maryland, the VA has approved 19,274 of the 31,440 claims filed by veterans in the state, and an additional 3,072 people have enrolled in VA health care, according to agency data. Jennifer Shutt/Maryland Matters.

HEALTH DEPT. STILL WORKING ON ISSUES FROM AUDIT: The Maryland Department of Health is still fixing issues pointed out by the Office of Legislative Audits in reports from last October, and it may take until the end of 2024 until some of them are corrected. Usually, OLA checks in with unsatisfactory audits after half a year and then makes sure the agency corrected the issue properly. OLA isn’t getting a chance to do that this time because MDH is taking so long. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

COST OF VEHICLE REGISTERING TO RISE JULY 1: Maryland motorists will have to dig a little deeper after July 1 when they renew their vehicle registrations. The cost of registering a passenger vehicle will increase 60% to 75% under new rates that take effect on July 1. The new fees, passed as part of a budget compromise between the House and Senate, include changes to weight classes of vehicles. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

WHO GOT IN TO THE STATE’s PREAKNESS HOSPITALITY TENT? On a cool and rainy day of racing at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, several dozen spectators stayed dry and warm and fed courtesy of Maryland taxpayers who footed a $200,000 bill for a hospitality tent during the Preakness Stakes. So which state, federal and elected officials as well as businesspeople got inside the tent? Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

ASSOCIATE JUDGE ORDERED TO STAY AWAY FROM CHIEF JUDGE: An associate judge on a state probate court for Anne Arundel County has been ordered to stay away from the chief judge after she accused him of stalking and “increasingly aggressive and volatile” conduct. Royale Bonds/The Baltimore Banner.

LACKS FAMILY CAN SUE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY: The family of Henrietta Lacks can pursue compensation from a pharmaceutical company over its use of her HeLa cells, which have been influential in modern medicine after being taken without her consent decades ago. A federal judge rejected a pharmaceutical company’s attempt to have a lawsuit dismissed on Monday. The ruling came in a case against Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, located in Novato, Calif. Jessica Albert/WJZ-TV.

VINEGAR COMPANY TO PAY $1.3M AFTER FISHKILLS: A lawsuit filed last year against Fleischmann’s Vinegar Co.– after two fishkills were discovered in the Jones Falls – has been settled, with the company agreeing to pay $1.3 million for alleged water pollution violations into the Baltimore waterway, which drains to the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.

3rd-GRADE TEACHER HELD ON SEX ABUSE CHARGES: A third-grade teacher at Severna Park Elementary School facing dozens of child sex abuse charges will be held without bond, a district court judge ruled Friday. Anne Arundel District Judge Kemp W. Hammond saidhe was “extremely disturbed” by the accusations made against Matthew Schlegel, 44, a 16-year-veteran of the county school system. Luke Parker/The Capital Gazette.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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