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Howard County’s District 12 state senator and delegates released a joint statement regarding the school system’s ongoing redistricting process Thursday afternoon.

State Sen. Clarence Lam and Dels. Eric Ebersole, Jessica Feldmark and Terri Hill said “we commend HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano on offering a redistricting proposal that prioritizes balancing capacity utilization, advancing equity, and planning ahead for the upcoming boundary adjustments associated with the opening of High School #13.”

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Martirano presented a proposal in August to move nearly 7,400 students in a comprehensive redistricting process, focusing on the three priorities listed by the District 12 lawmakers.

The Board of Education is scheduled to approve a final redistricting plan Nov. 21.

“As the Board of Education works through its review and decision-making process, we encourage the members of the Board to balance all three of these key priorities in the final approved redistricting plan,” the District 12 elected officials said.

“We hope and trust that the current [school] board will use this opportunity to take critical corrective action, making its highest priority the strength and needs of our entire school system as a whole.”

Lam, with State Sens. Katie Fry Hester and Guy Guzzone, the remaining two state senators of the Howard County delegation to the General Assembly, released a joint statement Tuesday about redistricting.

In their statement, the senators stressed they were not endorsing any specific proposal, rather said they have “an ongoing interest” as elected officials.

For the past several weeks, the school board has held several public hearings on the matter, with its final hearing Tuesday night. The school board will begin a series of redistricting work sessions at 7 p.m. Thursday evening.

Lam and the District 12 delegates are encouraging students, parents and all concerned residents to continue submitting written public testimony even though the public hearings have ended. They also encouraged community members to “listen with open minds to the other perspectives shared.”

The four “encourage interested parties to recognize that the [school] board is charged with acting in the collective best interest of all Howard County students.”

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