People Acting Together in Howard (PATH) released the following recommendation on September 16th about the redistricting process happening in Howard County:

Recommendation:

We believe the BOE should consider rescheduling the November 21st vote on the redistricting recommendation of the Superintendent. We recognize that 2020 school plans need to be made, so only a short delay is possible. We ask that timing be carefully considered given the current moment, which looks different from even a few weeks ago.

Why?

PATH leaders continue to support a robust equity agenda in HCPSS with energy, passion and hope. Redistricting/boundary review is a broad change to the landscape that is both needed and legally required. It is no surprise that the plan is evoking widespread fear and anxiety across the spectrum, as any culture shift does, with both proponents and opponents. Our cun•ent political and national landscape also provides incessant and worlisome destabilizing change. To organize in 2019 is specific to that context.

We support the overall recommendation of the Superintendent, and we want the BOE to evaluate carefully and fully. We request the BOE take adequate time to consider the extensive public feedback coming in, and to make any needed adjustments to the plan. This is what we are healing from our own member congregations, and public trust emerges from feeling heard. If the plan needs to be adjusted, we call on the Board of Education to do so, working for the highest common good.

There is much more to their statement…be sure to check it all out here:  https://pathiaf.com/public-statement/

I have to say this is an interesting recommendation. A couple of thoughts I had were:

If the current redistricting plan is to be approved as is…or rejected as is…I do not think more time is needed and delaying the vote just keeps us in the current spin up mode even longer.

If the plan is changed before November 21st (after all of the public input and HoCoBOE work sessions)…then delaying the vote would be appropriate. If the plan is changed from what it is today…wouldn’t the HoCoBOE want to provide additional input opportunities to the community? I am sure many in the county will have comments about changes made to the plan at this point. I do not know if it is possible to push back much beyond November 21st…so I am not sure if this is possible or not.

Here are the upcoming community input sessions:

Tuesday, September 17, 7 p.m.
Families currently zoned for Centennial HS, Howard HS, Mt. Hebron HS, Oakland Mills HS

Tuesday, September 24, 7 p.m.
Families currently zoned for Atholton HS, Hammond HS, Long Reach HS, Wilde Lake HS

Thursday, September 26, 6 p.m. (NOTE: Time changed from 7 p.m.)
Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS

Here are the upcoming HoCoBOE Work Session dates:

Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m
Thursday, October 24, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 30, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 5, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 12, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 14, 6:30 p.m..
Monday, November 18 Preliminary decision

Scott E

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