Community members participated in a walk in protest of Howard County Public School System’s redistricting plan Saturday near the Mall in Columbia days before the first public hearing on the issue.

Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano presented a recommendation plan last month for comprehensive redistricting to combat school overcrowding, address inequities in the distribution of students affected by poverty and establish a road map for the eventual opening of the county’s 13th high school.

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Martirano is recommending moving nearly 7,400 students to different schools for the 2020-21 academic year. There are nearly 57,400 students enrolled in the school system.

Tuesday marks the beginning of three school board public hearings on Martirano’s recommendation. The county school board is set to approve a plan on Nov. 21.

The three public hearings are broken down into regions. Region one is for all families currently attending Centennial, Howard, Mt. Hebron and Oakland Mills high schools, plus their respective feeder middle and elementary schools.

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