Howard school board outlines possible redistricting plans

From Howard schools reporter Joe Burris:

The Howard County board of education on Tuesday briefed the County Council on possible redistricting plans for the 2013-2014 school year, which include forming a 12-member attendance area committee to advise the superintendent.


The school system outlined the plans at its quarterly meeting with the County Council.

In November, the school board voted to move approximately 1,200 elementary school students for the upcoming school year to relieve over-capacity concerns in the southeast portion of the county. The students are slated to move to the south central portion of the county, with some schools moving students to other schools in order to receive other students.

For the 2013-20 school year, the school system will also form a 12-member committee, including one student.

Officials said that not every school involved in the move will have representation on the committee, and the school system will begin soliciting volunteers in March.

The board said it will receive a feasibility study in June that will include possible redistricting plans for 2013-14 or beyond. The superintendent will submit a redistricting recommendation in October, and the board plans to make its decision on redistricting in November.

The school system is currently searching for a superintendent to replace Sydney Cousin, who is slated to step down in June.

"What is really important to remember is that the public has the perception that we redistrict every single year when we do not," said school board chair Sandra French. "We consider the projections and the capacity issues and consider whether or not it has to happen. It's a good heads up to the community that this is being considered for 2014."