Howard County board ignored parents' objections to school redistricting plan [Letter]

November 25, 2013

It seems strange that parents who objected to the original Howard County middle school redistricting plan had months to provide feedback and work with Superintendent Renee Foose on changes, yet those of us who are now objecting to parts of her revised plan have had less than a month to provide our feedback and, even worse, the county board of education voted recently voted to ignore it ("Foose's middle school redistricting plan backed by board," Nov. 20).

Instead of approving a more recent plan created over the past few weeks that incorporates input from parents and several recommendations by board members, the body voted 4-3 to shrug their shoulders and go with the original plan, which only reflects the ideas and feedback from parents who didn't like the original redistricting scheme. The rest of us were blindsided by the superintendent's changes.

Many of us living in the polygons south of Route 216 supported moving from Hammond Middle School to Lime Kiln Middle School to be in line with the elementary redistricting that already happened moving us from Hammond Elementary School to Fulton Elementary School.

Now if the superintendent's plan gets final approval at Thursday night's meeting, my kids will say goodbye to most of their classmates when they leave Fulton ES to go to sixth grade at Hammond MS and they will be part of a small feed from Hammond MS to Reservoir HS, rather than a strong feed from Lime Kiln MS as originally planned.

For the board to ignore all of the parent feedback on the superintendent's plan and only pass it by one vote is terribly unfair to our students. Even board vice-chairman Brian Meshkin seemed stunned that the board was "sweeping the public testimony and community concerns aside." He called it "out of character" for the board.

Tanya Spann Roche, Laurel

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