For all of those that think this may not be a big thing locally…I think it might be…and for those that think I should not cover it on the blog…wait and see how many cover it on Saturday. I am reporting local stuff happening…some see it as good…others really dislike it…but it is happening and I think it is worth covering on the blog so that people know what it is all about. Here is the recent press release I have seen about the event:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Protest at The Mall in Columbia: A diverse county unites in opposition of Superintendent Martirano’s school redistricting proposal.

(9/9/2019, Columbia, MD) On Saturday September 14, 2019 at approximately 12:00pm a peaceful walking protest will be held on county sidewalks in the vicinity of The Mall in Columbia. This protest is one of many scheduled events in the coming months to demonstrate opposition to the superintendent’s ill-fitting proposal for redistricting the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). The objective of the protest is to raise awareness that the HCPSS is being recklessly redistricted and to send a county-wide voice of opposition.

As the Howard County Board of Education members meet through the fall and vote on a redistricting option in November, the Board and the Howard County residents must know the truth about how this controversial proposal was created and the actual impact it will have on students, student achievement and HCPSS.

This protest is a grassroots event that will be comprised of people from all villages within Howard County and representative of many elementary, middle, and high school students and their families. The Walk is not sponsored by any one entity; rather it is a scheduled event that is spreading by word of mouth and social media outlets. There will be many families on hand giving their personal testimonies on how the current redistricting will negatively impact their students and their families for the future.

A public Facebook group of approximately 2,200 people who oppose the proposal have been energized to make a public display of opposition in advance of three upcoming public hearings on the matter.

A separate non-profit organization, HoCo Families for Education Improvement (FEI), will be present during The Walk and will be on hand to assist those who are interested in writing letters of testimony to the Howard County Board of Education.

Background: The Superintendent’s proposal, which strays entirely from the commissioned 2019 Feasibility Study, will move approximately 7,300 students to attempt to improve socio-economic diversity in county schools. A number of these students will be impacted again in 2023 for the next redistricting for HCPSS HS 13. Early analysis of the current plan suggests that many of the children this proposal was meant to help, will actually be negatively impacted and with no real return on any tax-payer investment. Further, during the period of time to collect feedback from county residents on attendance and school impact, only 2,196 responses were taken in, less than 1% of the population of Howard County.

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For more information about FEI, please see www.hoco-fei.org FEI is not sponsoring this walk. The Mall in Columbia is not endorsing this event.

For more information about The Walk and its Code of Conduct please see The Walk Near the Mall event on Facebook.

Questions may be directed to: oppose_the_plan_hcpss@yahoo.com   

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I will be onsite for the event with my camera…that has worked out well for me in the past…I may even do an interview or two while onsite. So stay tuned for more information.

Scott E

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