State to give schools extra $530,000 Most of it set for areas with large numbers of poor children

Baltimore deal 'fallout'

Board also discusses which schools to be 'open enrollment'

April 11, 1997|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Howard County schools will receive an extra $530,000 next year in state money as a result of the Baltimore schools funding settlement, Superintendent Michael E. Hickey told the school board last night.

Also last night, the board began discussing which schools will be designated as "open enrollment" next fall -- allowing out-of-district students to enroll in them.

The additional state funding for Howard schools -- most of which is designated for helping schools with large numbers of poor children -- was described by Hickey as the "fallout from the Baltimore City deal."

The General Assembly approved a plan earlier this week to give Baltimore schools $254 million in extra aid over the next five years in exchange for the city handing over to the state some authority and power over education.

But the proposal has drawn sharp criticism from lawmakers and educators in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, who complain that their schools, too, need more state aid for education.

To try to gain the support of those lawmakers, the governor set aside extra money for all 23 county school systems. He didn't win the Prince George's and Montgomery lawmakers' votes, but both the city schools deal and the other extra education aid package were approved.

Howard's $530,000 share next fall is a modest amount compared with the $6.3 million to be given to Montgomery and the $8.6 million approved for Prince George's. Baltimore County schools will receive about $6.9 million in extra state aid, according to data provided by the General Assembly.

Howard will receive the extra state money even though "we were not one of the [school] boards who asked for a piece of the pie," Hickey said.

The Howard board consistently supported the Baltimore City schools settlement since it was announced last fall, declining to join the attempt by the Montgomery and Prince George's boards to obtain more state aid as a condition for supporting the settlement.

Most of Howard's extra state money -- about $326,000 -- is aimed at schools with large numbers of poor students, Hickey said. Of the rest, most is for extended elementary programs. About $25,000 will go for repairs at older schools, and $37,500 is tied to instruction for students who have limited proficiency in English.

Hickey said the extra dollars would be put to "good use." The state's share of Howard's spending plan for next fall is $64.2 million.

Also last night, board members began considering a proposed list of schools to be designated as open enrollment for next fall.

Designating a school as open enrollment allows students who live outside the neighborhood to attend the school as long as they provide their own transportation. A school's enrollment must be below 95 percent of the building's capacity for it to be designated open enrollment.

Under the proposal, the elementary schools that would be designated open enrollment for kindergarten are Atholton, Bollman Bridge, Clarksville, Dasher Green, Fulton, Guilford, Hollifield Station, Jeffers Hill, Longfellow, Phelps Luck, Running Brook, St. John's Lane, Stevens Forest, Talbott Springs, Thunder Hill, Waverly and West Friendship.

The eight elementaries that would be open enrollment would be Bryant Woods, Dasher Green, Fulton, Hollifield Station, Jeffers Hill, Longfellow, St. John's Lane and Waverly.

The middle schools that are proposed for open enrollment are Burleigh Manor, Elkridge Landing, Mount View, Murray Hill, Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake.

The proposal recommends that five of the county's 10 high schools be open enrollment: Atholton, Glenelg, Hammond, Howard and Oakland Mills.

At Glenelg, the open-enrollment designation would mean that students who were forced to transfer from Glenelg to River Hill High School last fall due to a change in the boundary line would be allowed to go back to Glenelg.

Pub Date: 4/11/97

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