We want your opinions

December 04, 2005

ISSUE:

The long-awaited proposal for redrawing county school boundaries and easing crowding was presented to the school board last week. The plan recommended shifting several hundred high school students in Harford's central core to new schools starting in 2007.

As expected, the proposal redraws boundaries most significantly around Bel Air, where the new Patterson Mill middle and high school complex is expected to open in 2007.

The area from which Bel Air High School draws its students would be sliced in half and extended north to Route 23. Students from the other half, which is mostly east of Route 24, would attend Patterson Mill.

While losing part of its current attendance area, Bel Air High would receive hundreds of students from Fallston and C. Milton Wright high schools, and Wright would see its boundary drawn in tighter from the northwest.

Statistics showed that the moves, coupled with planned expansions of three high schools, would put most county high schools below 92 percent capacity through 2009. Seven of the county's nine high schools are at or above 100 percent capacity now.

The plan would also bring numerous changes in the feeder system from elementary to middle schools.

School system officials plan to meet with parents over the next two months to discuss redistricting specifics, and the board will hold hearings in March leading to a vote in April.

YOUR VIEW:

Is the proposal a success? Why or why not? Tell us what you think. Send e-mail responses by Thursday to harford.speakout@baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published next Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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