School redistricting plan criticized

March 02, 1995|By Ellen Gamerman | Ellen Gamerman,Sun Staff Writer

Eastport parents criticized a proposed redistricting plan last night, saying their neighborhood elementary school is too small to accommodate children from a nearby public housing development.

"We do not want our community disrupted," said Eastport resident Steve Lucas, who wore a yellow T-shirt that read "Redistricting Affects Everyone."

The county Board of Education heard testimony last night from parents who live in the Eastport, South Haven Peninsula and South Shore areas at the second of four public hearings on its school redistricting proposal.

About 60 people attended the hearing at Annapolis Senior High School.

Among the most vocal were the Eastport residents, who criticized a proposal to move 75 children who live at the Harbour House development in Eastport from Tyler Heights Elementary School to Eastport Elementary School. The plan would crowd Eastport Elementary and disrupt an after-school program for children of working parents, they said.

A letter from the Harbour House Civic Association that was presented to the board also decried the proposal. Harbour House children would prefer to stay with their friends from the nearby Eastport Terrace development, all of whom attend Tyler Heights, the letter stated.

On other matters, parents from the South Haven Peninsula urged the board to change the district back to the way it was in the early 1980s. They said they send their children to private schools because the local suburban public school, Rolling Knolls Elementary School, was placed outside their district.

The parents said three out of about 35 children attend the district's public school, Walter S. Mills-Parole Elementary School.

Two parents whose children attend South Shore Elementary School decried a plan to send area children to Annapolis when they are ready for high school.

"If my son attends school in Annapolis, I wouldn't let him participate in after-school activities because it's too far away and it's not safe," said Kathleen Nowlin, a Crownsville parent.

To make some of the boundary changes beginning in September, the board must approve an action plan by April 30. The next public hearings are set for March 8 at Broadneck High and March 13 at Northeast High. Hearings begin at 7 p.m.

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