School board to continue debate on redistricting tomorrow

April 15, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County school board members are likely to continue tinkering tomorrow with their plan to redraw school attendance boundaries.

Some board members are uneasy about parts of the proposal, especially a recent amendment to pull four communities south of Annapolis out of the Mills-Parole Elementary School attendance area and place them in Edgewater Elementary.

Parents in four predominantly white neighborhoods have been clamoring for more than a decade to send their children to the mostly white Edgewater school instead of to the predominantly black Annapolis school, saying they are part of Edgewater.

Only 29 children from the 310 homes in Gingerville, Ginger Hill, Poplar Point and Wilelinor attend public schools, and nearly all have gotten transfers out of Mills-Parole. Parents in those communities say race is not the issue, but black parents who testified at a hearing last week said they believe many white parents were uncomfortable sending their children to a mostly black school.

The neighborhoods are about midway between the two schools, but most people from those communities prefer private schools or transfers to other public schools. But Edgewater Elementary is crowded.

"You can take me to the bank on this statement: I am not about to recommend the movement of students into a school that is overcrowded or just about filled," said board member Thomas E. Florestano.

The board is considering these redistricting proposals:

Annapolis, where the proposal would send children to schools closer to their homes;

Pasadena, where the board wants to move 270 students from overcrowded George Fox Middle School to Chesapeake Bay Middle School;

Meade, where the board must decide which elementary schools will feed into a new middle school;

South County, where the board is debating whether to relieve crowding at Tracey's Elementary School by shifting some students to Deale Elementary School.

The meeting begins at 7: 30 p.m. at the Board of Education on Riva Road in Annapolis.

Pub Date: 4/15/97

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