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School redistricting plans designed to benefit wealthy [Letter]

Does the Howard County Public School System hate the poor? Consider the languishing schools in Columbia juxtaposed against the palatial new schools elsewhere. The latest act of animus toward the poor is robbing Wilde Lake Middle School of its long-overdue expansion/renovation. How will they accomplish this? By redistricting the wealthy into Clarksville, leaving Wilde Lake Middle School with a building that doesn't meet current standards, fewer staff and contributing families, and increasing its already high percentage of low-income families. As collateral damage, Clemens Crossing Elementary School would become the only elementary school split into four feeds, the latest dividing a neighborhood.

Why do this when the "promised" renovation would add 150 seats in 2015 unless they don't plan to follow through? Poor people don't need renovated buildings! Without renovation, redistricting must take place and decimate the Clemens Crossing Elementary School feed, right? No! An alternate proposal was sent to the Board of Education that would convert Bryant Woods Elementary School into two feeds by moving an intact nearby neighborhood. That area contains low- and middle-income families, so its loss would be less damaging (even beneficial) to Wilde Lake Middle School. It increases diversity at Clarksville while providing at-risk kids with greater opportunities. It is a better plan – but would the Board of Education ever consider it?

That depends on whether they care as much about the poor as they do the wealthy.

Jan Zewari


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