Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentino-Smith Proposes School Funding Disclosure Legislation

The following is a press release from  Maryland District 23A Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            CONTACT: GERALDINE VALENTINO-SMITH        
JANUARY 26, 2012                                                           PHONE:  301-858-3101


In keeping her pledge to strengthen the public’s partnership with the Prince George’s County Public School System, Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith has authored and introduced legislation requiring the Prince George’s County School Board to develop and operate a searchable web site which would allow the public to search school funding by individual school. 
Currently it is difficult to determine the funding for individual schools and how the funds are spent at each school.  The budget books are so voluminous that it is extremely difficult to extract information from them for each individual school.  Through ongoing communications with her constituents, the Delegate realizes that most parents don’t have time to attend lengthy School Board meetings and comb through the complex data in the budget reports. 
With the passage of PG 410-12 Education-Prince George’s County School Board Budgets-Transparency, the public would be given access to important school board spending data in a clear, easy to read format.
Says Valentino-Smith, “Enactment of this bill will enable parents, students, teachers and our county citizens to readily and easily access information regarding how education funding is spent at the local school level.  This kind of web-based information will demonstrate a full commitment to making the public partners in our important mission to ensure clarity and understanding for education investment and spending.”
The bill has garnered enthusiastic support from a wide range of organizations including SEIU 400, ASASP, AFSCME 2250, the Prince George’s County NAACP, the African American Democratic Club of Prince George’s County, People for Change of Prince George’s County and PGCMA.
The bill is currently up for discussion in the Prince George’s County Delegation and will be voted on in the coming weeks.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jersey Mike's Subs coming to Hilltop Plaza

Jersey Mike's Subs is coming to Hilltop Plaza in Bowie (between Papa John's and Chesapeake Grill & Deli). Construction in the new location will begin April 30th, and the restaurant will open in late June. Jersey Mike's Subs started out as Mike's Subs in 1956 on the Jersey Shore in Point Pleasant long before anyone ever heard of Snooki, Pauly D or The Situation. The restaurant eventually changed its name, and it now has a franchise business with 500 locations opened or planned. The Jersey Mike's web site describes their subs as follows:

Today, the authentic taste – served Mike's Way™ with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and spices – is available nationwide. Our secret? Everything about Jersey Mike’s is high quality. Our certified Angus Beef top rounds are trimmed and cooked right in the store. Our meats and cheeses are all top-quality premium brands. Our bread is fresh-baked each day on the premises. And of course, everything’s prepared right in front of you. It’s what makes Jersey Mike’s the most authentic tasting submarine sandwich available. And it’s a tradition of quality we’ll never outgrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Whitehall Elementary Achieves Blue Ribbon Status

Whitehall Elementary School in Bowie is one of six schools to be designated a 2012 Maryland Blue Ribbon School, and the school will compete for National Blue Ribbon School honors later this year.

“The Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a national and state program that recognizes and honors elementary, middle, and high schools that exhibit high performance and/or significant improvement in student achievement,” according to a fact sheet on the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) web site.  Each year the MSDE chooses six public schools that are honored as Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools and are nominated as finalist for the National Blue Ribbon School program.  The number of schools selected by each state is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on population.

The schools designated as Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools are not guaranteed to become National Blue Ribbon Schools, but all MSDE selected schools have gone on to achieve National Blue Ribbon School honors since 2003, according to MSDE.

As a Maryland Blue Ribbon School, Whitehall Elementary School will be rewarded with a Joe Corbi’s school-wide pizza party and a “technology classroom” from SMART Technologies that includes an interactive white board and projector.

The other 2012 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools are:
  • Crofton Meadows Elementary School (Anne Arundel County)
  • Pocomoke Elementary School (Worcester County)
  • Rachel Carson Elementary School (Montgomery County)
  • Ring Factory Elementary School (Harford County)
  • Woodholme Elementary School (Baltimore County)
The Maryland Blue Ribbon School program does not honor private schools, although private schools are eligible for the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School program.  Private school nominations for the national program should be announced later this month.

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