"I had a plan," she said "So it feels a little unsettling to not know."

With a second-grader and a kindergartner at Westchester Elementary, Melissa West had a similar reaction.

"I guess in a way I think it's ambitious," she said of the proposal that would add room for nearly 1,000 more elementary school students to area schools. "I think it was civil [the meeting] and I'm happy with how the community is reacting."

Though she also has concerns about redistricting, West said she was inspired by Hillcrest Parent Teacher Association President Jim Kitchel's positive encouragement to all the parents.

At one point during the meeting, Kitchel stood up and instead of asking a question, urged the parents to form a united and active front when it came to redistricting.

To a round of applause that erupted in the auditorium after he spoke, he told parents, "If you think there are not people in northwest and central [Baltimore County] who want this money, you're crazy.

"This is not going to happen because [County Executive] Kevin Kamenetz said it's going to happen, because Dr. Dance said it's going to happen," he said. "It's going to happen, because you stood up."

Nancy Cohen, a parent who has a daughter in third grade at Hillcrest, said that as long as the school system intends to address possible future issues at the middle school and high school levels, she is thrilled with the new proposal.

"They said the kids would be able to finish up where they are, which I think is great," Cohen said of the imminent redistricting process.

"I think it's great," she said. "I think it's probably the best plan out there. I think it's incredible that Baltimore County is willing to give us this money. As a parent, who wouldn't want two new schools, three new schools, built that are state of the art?"