Speakout!

December 11, 2005

ISSUE: -- The long-awaited proposal for redrawing county school boundaries and easing crowding has been presented to the school board.The plan recommended shifting several hundred high school students in Harford's central core to new schools starting in 2007. School system officials plan to meet with parents over the next two months to discuss redistricting specifics. The board will hold hearings in March leading to a vote in April. Is the proposal a success? Why or why not?

Parent is upset for many reasons

I am the parent of an eleven-year-old honors student currently attending Fallston Middle School. According to the current redistricting plan, my daughter will be moved from Fallston Middle to Bel Air Middle for the 2007/2008 school year. She will also have to attend Bel Air High instead of Fallston High, where her brother currently attends.

There are MANY reasons that I am upset by the proposed redistricting plan. We moved to Harford County four years ago and chose our home with great consideration to the Fallston school district as opposed to the Bel Air school district. Some of the reasons behind this decision included:

Fallston schools are more modern than the Bel Air schools.

Fallston High has a more highly trained faculty than Bel Air High.

Fallston High has a significantly higher graduation rate than Bel Air High.

These facts are based upon statistics reported by the state (see mdreportcard.org).

A walk through the two high schools will convince anyone that there is simply no comparison between them. While I am only one voice, many parents in my community also are angered by the proposed change and are preparing to argue these changes until a better solution can be drafted.

Tom Bachur Bel Air

Don't exclude Abingdon folks

The Patterson Mill Proposal is ALMOST a success. It seems as though the Abingdon folks, just outside the Bel Air boundary, have been excluded from the new school plans.

I propose that the Patterson Mill boundary line should extend just a little more south to Route 7. That way our children do not have to continue to cross over I-95 to get to middle and high school.

Michelle Kahl Abingdon

Countywide approach needed

How can the proposal be successful? This is a countywide problem but they only "tweaked" it with two slight variations for Bel Air? A proposal can only be successful when it considers everything.

They never considered neighborhoods or geography. As I raise my hand and holler, "Hello, here's some people in Abingdon hoping to be considered," they still only focus on Bel Air? Why is that?

I see the Sun made a point of mentioning that Edgewood has the highest suspension rate for violence. I'm confused. What does that have to do with anything? So now the plan is to just make Edgewood bigger to keep the "violent" kids there and not spill into the new districts? That makes me feel a lot better about the half million dollars we spent on our house.

While families in Bel Air only have to worry about their kids staying with friends, I now have to worry about violence? Sheesh!

Lorraine M. J. Curtis Abingdon

Clamp down on construction

The easiest way to ease overcrowding in schools is to put a moratorium on all building of residential housing and only allow what the school districts can hold and effectively give the best education offered.

William Lee Fisher Joppa

We want your opinions

ISSUE:

The proposal for joint civilian-military use of an airfield at Aberdeen Proving Ground is close to becoming a reality as a key feasibility study nears completion and officials explore development options for the oft-derailed project.

YOUR VIEW:

What do you think about the plan to develop the airstrip for joint civilian and military use? 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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