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2013School Redistricting Stories: Why People Without Kids Should Care

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  • pamythompson
    http://lisabmrss.blogspot.com/ Lisa B, Mrs. S It is what it is. But, what is it? Thursday, March 7, 2013School Redistricting Stories: Why People Without Kids
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 7, 2013
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      http://lisabmrss.blogspot.com/

      Lisa B, Mrs. S
      It is what it is. But, what is it?


      Thursday, March 7, 2013School Redistricting Stories: Why People Without Kids Should Care
      Happy times! HCPSS is about to to start the school redistricting process again, this time for the middle schools in the eastern part of the county. A new middle school will open in Elkridge in 2014, so boundaries need to be drawn to fill the school. Ken Roey and Joel Gallihue from the school system's facilities planning and management department presented to the PTA Council of Howard County a brief overview of this upcoming redistricting process. (Click the caption below to access the presentation.)

      School Redistricting Presentation to PTA Council
      The middle schools in both the northeast and southeast planning regions of the county are crowded. The area needing relief is basically the entire length of the Route 1 corridor and extending west of I-95 in the southeast and west of Rt. 29 in the north. The new middle school in Elkridge will help relieve some of this crowding, but other redistricting will be necessary, too. By and large, all of the same neighborhoods "on watch" during the last two years of elementary redistricting should be alert for this middle school shift.

      PTACHC President Christina Delmont-Small shared that only 60% of the school system's capital budget requests are funded each year, compared with nearly 100% of the operating budget requests. The capital budget doesn't get nearly the same attention as the operating budget (which maybe could stand to get a bit more public attention and input, too). However, the single most galvanizing issue among our public school families is school redistricting. Frankly, though, by the time people are engaged in that process, it's a little too late. The lessons learned from each round of redistricting seem to be forgotten once the plans are passed and new school assignments are made. People are frustrated and disgusted and wish to disengage.

      Howard County has a lot of development going on in the east, but the available land for schools is disappearing. Our existing school buildings have leaky roofs and sub-standard common spaces like gyms and cafeterias. Yet, politicians at the state level (where we get some of our capital dollars) want to spend the money on security cameras and buzz-in systems because of Newtown. (Both of which were in place in Newtown, did not prevent Newtown, and will not prevent another such extremely tragic and rare event.) But it's not just families of school children who should think about school redistricting and capital budgets. All Howard County residents benefit from the great state of our public schools. As is often said, people don't move here for the weather (or the fire department, as great as they are). They move here for the schools. Our local businesses are able to recruit top talent and benefit commercially in part because of the schools. And so on.

      Now that I've put that bug in your ear, let me ask you for something. Please save the date for an opportunity to tell the County Council about the state of our school buildings and their future needs. Monday, April 29th at 7:30 pm is a public hearing on the school system's capital budget request. I'll post more specifics for your consideration in the weeks ahead, but jot that on the calendar for now. Also, you can read more about the budget process here.

      For more on the recent and not-so-recent history of school redistricting in Howard County, check out the other posts in the School Redistricting Stories series.
    • Leslie Kornreich
      Gallihue and Roey s presentation said the following: The area needing relief is basically the entire length of the Route 1 corridor and extending west of
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 9, 2013
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        Gallihue and Roey's presentation said the following: "The area needing relief is basically the entire length of the Route 1 corridor and extending west of I-95 in the southeast and west of Rt. 29 in the north."

        In the course of two years HCPSS will open a new elementary school in Elkridge (Duckett's Lane Elementary Fall 2013) and a new middle school in Elkridge (MS 20 in Oxford Square Fall 2014), both to alleviate severe overcrowding in the eastern part of the county. Anyone driving up and down Route 1 can see the rampant construction of high density housing in Elkridge, Jessup, Savage and Laurel.

        Does HCPSS believe that all of the students for whom they are making space in the new elementary and middle schools will drop out after 8th grade? If not, and they are to continue through high school, why is there not at least one new high school in the ten-year capital plan?

        Leslie Kornreich


        --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
        >
        > http://lisabmrss.blogspot.com/
        >
        > Lisa B, Mrs. S
        > It is what it is. But, what is it?
        >
        >
        > Thursday, March 7, 2013School Redistricting Stories: Why People Without Kids Should Care
        > Happy times! HCPSS is about to to start the school redistricting process again, this time for the middle schools in the eastern part of the county. A new middle school will open in Elkridge in 2014, so boundaries need to be drawn to fill the school. Ken Roey and Joel Gallihue from the school system's facilities planning and management department presented to the PTA Council of Howard County a brief overview of this upcoming redistricting process. (Click the caption below to access the presentation.)
        >
        > School Redistricting Presentation to PTA Council
        > The middle schools in both the northeast and southeast planning regions of the county are crowded. The area needing relief is basically the entire length of the Route 1 corridor and extending west of I-95 in the southeast and west of Rt. 29 in the north. The new middle school in Elkridge will help relieve some of this crowding, but other redistricting will be necessary, too. By and large, all of the same neighborhoods "on watch" during the last two years of elementary redistricting should be alert for this middle school shift.
        >
        > PTACHC President Christina Delmont-Small shared that only 60% of the school system's capital budget requests are funded each year, compared with nearly 100% of the operating budget requests. The capital budget doesn't get nearly the same attention as the operating budget (which maybe could stand to get a bit more public attention and input, too). However, the single most galvanizing issue among our public school families is school redistricting. Frankly, though, by the time people are engaged in that process, it's a little too late. The lessons learned from each round of redistricting seem to be forgotten once the plans are passed and new school assignments are made. People are frustrated and disgusted and wish to disengage.
        >
        > Howard County has a lot of development going on in the east, but the available land for schools is disappearing. Our existing school buildings have leaky roofs and sub-standard common spaces like gyms and cafeterias. Yet, politicians at the state level (where we get some of our capital dollars) want to spend the money on security cameras and buzz-in systems because of Newtown. (Both of which were in place in Newtown, did not prevent Newtown, and will not prevent another such extremely tragic and rare event.) But it's not just families of school children who should think about school redistricting and capital budgets. All Howard County residents benefit from the great state of our public schools. As is often said, people don't move here for the weather (or the fire department, as great as they are). They move here for the schools. Our local businesses are able to recruit top talent and benefit commercially in part because of the schools. And so on.
        >
        > Now that I've put that bug in your ear, let me ask you for something. Please save the date for an opportunity to tell the County Council about the state of our school buildings and their future needs. Monday, April 29th at 7:30 pm is a public hearing on the school system's capital budget request. I'll post more specifics for your consideration in the weeks ahead, but jot that on the calendar for now. Also, you can read more about the budget process here.
        >
        > For more on the recent and not-so-recent history of school redistricting in Howard County, check out the other posts in the School Redistricting Stories series.
        >
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