School Board Solicits Parental Input

September 15, 1991|By Samuel Goldreich | Samuel Goldreich,Staff writer

The county Board of Education wants more parents involved in drawingboundaries for new schools and plans to notify every household that might be affected.

And when the board meets next month, it will consider amending its redistricting rules to eliminate favoritism and ensure representation of parents from communities surrounding new schools.

"When they form the committees, they will take the (parents') names and pick them from a hat," school spokesman Al Seymour said. "Thatway, people would know that the principal is not playing favorites."

Proposals to seek more parental involvement created a brief turf flap between the school administration and the Parent Teacher Association at the board meeting last week.

"People read what you write, not what you intended," PTA president Victoria Kornick said Friday. "The way it was written, the PTA would not be represented on the redistricting committees."

The county has traditionally included local PTAs on redistricting committees involving any of the 37 Harford schools that have chapters. The other school committees also have included representatives from their independent parent-teacher organizations.

The school administration sought to end complaints from some parents that they weren't informed of plans to move their children to new schools until the decision was already made.

Kornick thought direct school board solicitation of involvement from parents would eliminate the assurance of PTA input on behalf of its 15,000 members.

That could have frozen the PTA out of redistricting plans for AbingdonElementary School, which is scheduled to open on Singer Road next September.

"I have membership in those schools of 800 to 900 people,and they expect the PTA to represent them," Kornick said.

But school superintendent Ray Keech resolved the situation Tuesday with assurances that the PTA will continue to serve on redistricting committees.

"It really was a misunderstanding that should not have existed," Seymour said. "It was intended to include the PTA more. Actually, it would use the PTA as the vehicle for parent involvement through notification of parents by the PTA newsletter."

Kornick said she was satisfied with plans to increase parental participation.

"They will seek more members at large from parents for redistricting, but there will always be a place on every committee for the PTA," she said. "They never intended to leave the PTA out."

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