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Letter: School board has not solved problem of underutilized west county schools

3:54 PM EST, November 19, 2012

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Six years ago, I asked the Board of Education to move children from the overcrowded eastern schools to the underutilized western schools, which at that time had 655 empty seats.

Just last month, I again asked the BOE to move students west to fill up 1,323 empty seats (approximately two entire elementary schools).

In the past, taxpayers been told that students can't be moved west because seats need to be saved for incoming BRAC students or future Turf Valley residents. Now, the BOE decided to postpone real western moment for the promise of an end to redistricting as we know it.

I certainly hope that Superintendent Foose and the BOE, along with citizen input and feedback, are able to create an equitable solution for all Howard County children and utilize the "two" empty elementary schools in the west as well as solve the overcrowding problems for the children in the east.

I do not want to testify before the BOE in fall 2017 saying, "In 2018, there will be the equivalent of three empty schools in the west." Current HCPSS statistics project 1,762 empty seats, which indeed is almost three entire schools of unused capacity.

Debbie Bures-Walker

Ellicott City