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Baltimore Co. School Leaders Push Technology, Foreign Language In New Plan

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PERRY HALL, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County’s school superintendent plans to put a computer in every student’s hand, and to require more foreign languages.

Gigi Barnett reports he rolled out this five-year plan Thursday.

By the time some Baltimore County fifth-graders graduate, they’ll speak a second language and their textbooks will be on a tablet computer.

“We have to stop thinking about how we were educated,” said Dr. Dallas Dance.

That’s the vision Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance unveiled for teachers Thursday at his state of the schools address.

Dance says with more technology at their fingertips and a foreign language on their lips, students will be able to compete on a world stage. The recently appointed superintendent says he’s finding business partners and trimming the budget to cover the cost.

“Just this year alone, we reported we found $11 million in efficiencies just in me doing a budget in seven months,” he said.

“Technology is something that we can use to reach the world, that in a library we can’t always get to,” said McCall Behringer.

Behringer is graduating in a few months from Perry Hall High. She’s already taking advanced courses in Spanish, and she says she’s using the language more and more outside of the classroom.

“In my life experiences, I realize that other people know and a lot of people use, so it’s something I felt like I needed to get a hang on,” said Behringer.

Dance says if he had to give the school district a grade today, it would be a B minus. That’s because some schools still don’t have the support and technology they need. Meanwhile, his plan runs a five-year course and he assured the teachers and principals in the crowd he plans to stay to complete it.

After two incidents where students brought weapons on campus this year, Dance says safety is a priority in his plan as well. He’s boosting the number of safety workers at schools.

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