Photo by Mark Turnauckas on Flickr.

Middle schools are among DCPS budget priorities: At the annual budget hearing, Chancellor Kaya Henderson also said she wants to improve the district’s 40 lowest-performing schools and ensure student satisfaction. The school system is starting the budget process earlier than usual, and offering an online survey, to get more community input. (Post)

More classes are held in trailers: Strained budgets and rising enrollments have led to an increase in “portable classrooms” at DC-area schools. (Post)

Fairfax schools cry poverty, but some hear “wolf:” The county school superintendent has warned of a $140.7 million budget shortfall, but county officials say that similar dire predictions haven’t come true in the past. The school board insists this year is different. (Post)

Could ads help?: The Prince George’s County school system has started running ads on its website to help offset a drop in revenue. Cash-strapped districts across the country have turned to such ads as a fundraising tool. (Post)

At-risk students may get more money: The DC Council’s education committee approved a bill proposed by Councilmember David Catania that would direct more funds to students who are homeless, in foster care, or on government assistance. But it’s not clear how much money Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration would allocate to the effort. (Post)

But one charter advocate cries foul: Mark Lerner complains that Catania’s bill would limit the amount a traditional public school could lose when students switch to other schools, but it doesn’t give similar budget protection to charters. (Examiner)

Family struggles to find appropriate DCPS placement for autistic child: DCPS’s resistance to paying private school tuition for the boy may reflect a general push to reduce the number of special ed students it places in private schools at public expense. (Huffington Post)

Maryland’s results on national tests are questioned: The state excluded more than half of its students who are learning English or have learning disabilities from taking the reading portion of the 2013 NAEP tests. Critics say the exclusion casts doubt on Maryland’s high ranking. (Post)

Parents urge delay on lease of Ward 3 school: The DC Council is about to put the former Hardy School on Foxhall Rd. in private hands for the next 50 years. But some urge waiting until after the DCPS boundary review process is complete, saying that schools near the building are among the District’s most crowded. (NW Current)

Prince George’s superintendent pushes for more arts education: Like many school districts, Prince George’s County has cut back on art classes as a result of budget constraints and a greater focus on reading and math. But the new superintendent says it’s time to reconsider. (Post)

Principals play a crucial role: School leaders face increasing pressures, and it’s sometimes hard to find top talent willing to take on the job, according to a panel of commentators on the Kojo Nnamdi show. (WAMU)

O say can you see (the board)?: Maryland gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler has a proposal to help disadvantaged students get eyeglasses. (Post)

Parents resist longer school days: Some Montgomery County parents are petitioning against a proposal to extend the elementary school day by 30 minutes, for a total of 6 hours and 45 minutes. (Post)

Upcoming events:

Hearings on school reuse: The D.C. Department of General Services will hold two public hearings this week. The first is on proposals for the former Sharpe Health School, 4300 13th Street, NW. At least two charter schools, Bridges (partnering with Briya and DC International School) and Community Academy, have submitted offers. The hearing will be held today (December 2) at 6:30 p.m. at Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW. DGS will hold another hearing on Wednesday, December 4, on the reuse of Shadd ES, 5601 E. Capitol St. SE. That hearing will be at Capitol View Library, 5001 Central Ave, SE (no time given).

Greater Greater Education hosts Councilmember Catania: Join us for a conversation about DC education with David Catania, chair of the DC Council’s Education Committee. Monday, December 9, from 6:30 to 8 pm, at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, near the Eastern Market Metro. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP here.