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Shortcomings in Md. juvenile offender schooling

HAGERSTOWN — The Maryland State Department of Education says it’s addressing shortcomings in the schooling it provides in juvenile justice centers.

In a report released Thursday by the state’s Juvenile Justice Monitoring Agency, the department acknowledged that credits earned in confinement are not necessarily applied toward graduation requirements at the students’ home schools.

The department also acknowledged that a shortage of teachers and support staff at the youth centers means classrooms are sometimes run by uncertified instructional assistants.

The department says it’s working to correct the shortcomings. Some of them were the subject of a November complaint by the state public defender’s office.

The department assumed educational instruction at the youth centers last June amid concerns by state officials that the previous program run by the Department of Juvenile Services was inadequate.