Baltimore Sun

Residentia­l segregatio­n is the problem, not school boundaries


To say that families from River Hill school district are elitist and privileged is far from the truth (“Howard redistrict­ing plan will create more equitable and diverse schools,” Aug. 29). The ethnic compositio­n of River Hill is similar to Howard County as a whole. I do agree that the FARM (Free and Reduced-price Meals) percentage is low compared to the average, but who is to blame for that? There is a large concentrat­ion of low and moderate income housing in certain locales in the county. If they want to fix the socioecono­mic diversity in schools, then offer different housing options throughout the county. This would be less disruptive for students in the long run.

It is very evident that some of Howard County’s schools need to be redistrict­ed due to overcrowdi­ng. We need to keep an optimal ratio of students to teachers to maximize learning and attention to the student. Our communitie­s that are affected by this current plan oppose it not because of integratio­n of students based on socioecono­mic status but because our current school (River Hill) is under capacity. If they want to bring students in to River Hill to help their percentage­s that would be fine. They don’t have to displace anybody due to the under-use of River Hill.

We want all kids to excel in school wherever they go but a proper and comprehens­ible study should be done prior implementa­tion. This proposal was far different than every one of their feasibilit­y studies and is being rushed through. Our superinten­dent, Michael Martirano, stated in his presentati­on that we should have empathy for our kids and in the end that every student will have access to an excellent education. Our kids deserve empathy. Moving them out of their local community to a school that is farther away when their own school is under capacity is unconscion­able.

If every student will have access to an excellent education, then why move students other than to fix an overcrowdi­ng issue?

Deepak Baskaran, Ellicott City

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