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Montgomery County's $5B Budget Uses Controversial Accounting

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Montgomery County’s nearly $5 billion budget goes into effect July 1 with a spending plan that was both hailed and criticized for its creative approach.

Among other things, the county’s new budget increases funding for road repair, education and even libraries. The school system was fully funded $51 million over the state mandated minimum with the help of what some consider a controversial approach, which draws surplus funds from health care trust plans for current and retired school employees.

Council president Craig Rice says creative accounting for Montgomery County Public Schools is necessary to avoid the achievement gap between high- and low-poverty schools and ensure that county schools continue to perform at a high level.

“We've got to do it all. We've got to keep moving the needle at the top and at the bottom and bring that gap closer together so that all our students are achieving at a very high level. That was really an important piece of funding our budget," Rice says.

Although the home and commercial energy tax imposed during the economic downturn was retained, its level was decreased for the third year in a row.

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Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
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The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.


Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of 2 miles — and can very accurately kill that person."

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