State Roundup: Report Finds No Major Problems In Public Schools, But Improvements Still Needed; Arundel, Baltimore County Teachers Seek Better Pay

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: BUT NO MAJOR PROBLEMS FOUND IN MARYLAND SCHOOL BUILDINGS: Although the majority of Maryland’s public school buildings are adequate for educational use, some still have problems with deteriorated roads and walkways, fire and safety systems and interior lighting. That’s the finding of The Interagency Commission on School Construction, which approved the final draft of a fiscal 2022 maintenance report this month. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

ARUNDEL SCHOOLS USE STAFFING AGENCIES FOR SOME TEACHING POSTS: The Anne Arundel County Public School System is relying on staffing agencies to help with its vacancies, especially for special education, a critical shortage area across Maryland. Schools around the country are grappling with severe vacancies and Anne Arundel found a solution. Although working with contractors was not a new concept, teachers were in uproar, because those agency jobs pay tens of thousands of dollars more than the public school system jobs. Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.

BALTIMORE COUNTY TEACHERS UNION PRESSES FOR HIGHER WAGE HIKE: The Baltimore County teachers union plans to apply pressure on the school board to keep its promise of salary increases during its meeting Tuesday night. The school board needs a new plan since county leaders have rejected previous renditions that would allocate a one-time influx of cash. County Executive Johnny Olszewski squashed the school board’s plan to pay for a nearly 8% salary hike for educators, decrying the move as “fiscally unsustainable.” John Lee/WYPR-FM.

REPORT: B’MORE SHERIFF’s EMPLOYEES WORKED ON CAMPAIGN: In the office of longtime Baltimore Sheriff John Anderson, it’s all hands on deck during campaign season — including his own city employees. A review of Anderson’s campaign finance reports dating back a decade shows multiple members of his city staff regularly worked for the sheriff’s campaigns. City employees put up campaign signs, completed campaign finance reports and managed his field operation, the reports show. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

B’MORE USED MILLIONS TO AID CITY-OWNED HOTEL DURING PANDEMIC: The City of Baltimore transferred an additional $3.1 million last month to the city-owned Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel, according to a recent financial disclosure, bringing the total amount of payments to about $16 million since the coronavirus pandemic decimated the hotel and tourism industry. Giacomo Bologna/The Baltimore Sun.

POSSIBLE RAIL STRIKE WOULD SUSPEND AREA COMMUTER TRAINS: A possible strike by freight rail workers began to disrupt the nation’s passenger rail Monday, while potentially rattling commutes and cross-country travel for thousands of Americans if a strike isn’t averted. Ian Duncan and Luz Lazo/The Washington Post.

  • The potential strike by CSX railroad workers beginning Friday would suspend commuter trains on the Camden and Brunswick lines, the Maryland Transit Administration said Monday. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

MO CO DEMS FLOCK TO TO MOORE BREAKFAST: Wes Moore, the Democratic nominee for Maryland governor, flashed a smile to the crowd at a meeting hosted by the District 18 Democratic Breakfast Club in Silver Spring. But there were many more political figures and residents than just District 18 members present — including former County Executive Ike Leggett, who introduced Moore. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.

EPA REPS CELEBRATE CLEAN WATER ACT AT SANDY POINT: On Monday, federal, state and local officials and representatives with the Environmental Protection Agency visited Sandy Point State Park in Anne Arundel County to highlight the Clean Water Act’s positive effect on the Chesapeake Bay, and to cheer the estuary as one of the nation’s best natural resources for fishing and recreational activities. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

BRANDON DUCK; CANDIDATE FOR DISTRICT 4 DELEGATE: First-time political candidate Brandon Duck, who is running to represent District 4 in the Maryland House of Delegates, said his experience working retail has given him a direct line of communication that other politicians do not have. Angela Roberts/The Frederick News Post.

COURT REVIEWS CALVERT ETHICS CASE: Local residents may challenge in court a Calvert County commission’s zoning decision they allege was unlawfully reached based on the vote of a commissioner with a personal stake in the outcome, their attorney told a skeptical Maryland high court Monday. Many of the Court of Appeals judges appeared ready to accept the argument that the residents have “taxpayer standing” to challenge the commissioner’s controversial vote. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

DR. JAMES FISHER, WHO OVERSAW TU GROWTH, DIES AT 91: Dr. James L. Fisher, whose tenure as president of what is now Towson University coincided with unparalleled physical expansion, increased student enrollment and a name change during the 1970s, died Wednesday at a son’s Crownsville home of complications from a stroke. The former Vero Beach, Florida, and Wiltondale resident was 91. Frederick Rasmussen/The Baltimore Sun.