Board chief says plan to split schools is dead

December 16, 1992|By Michael A. Fletcher | Michael A. Fletcher,Staff Writer

The president of the Baltimore school board said yesterday a proposal to eliminate the city's seven elementary-middle schools appears to be dead.

In a statement released by the school system's central office, Dr. Phillip Farfel, the board president, said that "judging by the reaction of several board members so far, it appears unlikely the proposal to split the city's seven combined elementary-middle schools . . . would be accepted by the board."

On Monday, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said he was against the proposal and preferred to see more schools with the K-8 structure.

The mayor said he will recommend converting to K-8 Violetville Elementary on Pine Heights Avenue in Southwest Baltimore and Charles Carroll of Carrollton on Central Avenue on the eastside. He said communities surrounding those schools had requested conversion to K-8, and that backing their plan is consistent with his larger vision of giving more local control to schools.

The proposal to eliminate elementary-middle schools was contained in a school system rezoning plan unveiled last week that would close nine schools, change the boundaries of 57 others and return all schools to the traditional elementary, middle and high groupings.

School officials and many parents say Baltimore's elementary-middle schools often provide better educations than do the city's 22 middle schools.

But backers of the plan say middle schools would do better if run correctly.

The board began hearings on Monday on the rezoning plan.

If approved, the plan would go into effect in September, shifting students out of crowded schools and adding them to those with extra space. The board is expected to vote on the plan in April.

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