Howard County Board of Education member Vicky Cutroneo posted the following on Facebook:

New education related local legislation filed this past week. A public hearing will he held on state wide legislation and local bills not available at the time of the November hearing (like this one). I cannot find that date at the moment but will share.

Howard County Board of Education – School Redistricting Plan – Testimony, Ho. Co. 41-20
By: Senator Lam

FOR the purpose of requiring, during a school redistricting process in which the redistricting plan proposed by the Howard County Board of Education differs from the redistricting plan proposed by the Howard County Superintendent of Schools, that the Board allow a household whose school assignment is changed only in the Board’s plan to provide public testimony before the final vote on either school redistricting plan; and generally relating to the Howard County Board of Education and school redistricting.

Here is a look at the proposed bill:

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I have to say of all of the education legislation proposed in 2020 by the Howard County Delegation this might be my favorite.

One possible big miss by the HoCoBOE during the last round of HCPSS redistricting is noted in the proposed legislation. As a reminder…here was the 2019 HCPSS redistricting process:

  • Feasibility Study
  • Online Input Forms
  • Attendance Area Committee (AAC) Meetings
  • Community Input Sessions
  • Superintendent Recommendation to the Board
  • Feedback to the Board
  • Board Public Hearings (public testimony)
  • Board Public Work Sessions
  • Board Decision

Many changes were made (and for good reasons) to polygons after the Board Public Hearings during the Board Public Work Sessions with no ability for those families affected to publicly testify about those moves. MANY in our community were very upset at that fact.

Sure…families had the opportunity to send in comments via USPS mail and email as part of the “Feedback to the Board” all the way up to the very end of the process but was that enough? This proposed legislation may say that many feel it was not this last time around.

Will this legislation extend the process for redistricting in the future…possibly. It sure would have this last time around. But is taking a little more time to ensure all members of our community that will be affected feel heard in this process…I think so.

Have thoughts…let me know in the comments.

Scott E