ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A controversial school redistricting plan is moving forward in Howard County.

The plan addresses overcrowding and better integrating schools, Howard County School Board members said.

“We have just completed a long, arduous and comprehensive redistricting process,” Superintended Michael Martirano said.

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When the redistricting plan goes into effect in the 2020-2021 school year, 5,402 students will be moved to a new school, including:

  • 2,827 at the elementary school level,
  • 568 at the middle school level, and
  • 2,007 at the high school level.

The only motion not to pass involves polygon 189. All students at Clarksville Middle School will not be reassigned.

Not all board members were in agreement with this new plan, however.

“The redistricting process is broken, and I believe we failed our students and our parents and our community,” Howard County School Board member Christina Delmont-Small said. “We could have done better.”

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said that he is also concerned about the decision. In a statement, Ball said, in part:

“The redistricting proposal by Superintendent Martirano, and the subsequent debate, leading to the Board of Education’s final approved plan was challenging for our community and caught the attention of national media and academic experts. I share the concerns of many in our community about the Board of Education not reaching a stronger consensus and clarifying data provided by HCPSS.”

Ball, however, went onto say that, “this is a necessary process for counties, like Howard Counties.”

Superintendent Martirano met with all of the county’s principals Friday in regard to the plan and the transition.

Paul Gessler

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