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Howard needs better neighborhood schools, not busing of students

Beverly Menke addresses the crowd gathered at the Howard County redistricting opposition rally held at the Howard County Fairgrounds.
Beverly Menke addresses the crowd gathered at the Howard County redistricting opposition rally held at the Howard County Fairgrounds. (Karen Jackson For Baltimore Sun Media/Baltimore Sun Media)

When James Rouse developed Columbia, he had a vision to instill it with a strong sense of community. As seen by a sea of yellow, blue, red, orange, green, and even tie-dye shirts at rallies and board meetings, he was wildly successful in achieving this vision not just for Columbia, but for all of Howard County. Any group that shows up to board meetings wearing tie-dye must be a strong community!

Unfortunately, both the superintendent’s plan as well as the board’s current plan disrupt our communities by drawing school boundary lines right through the middle of them (“Howard County redistricting coming up short,” Nov. 20). Children who can walk to the elementary school in their neighborhood would now be bused miles away. Neighborhoods that attend the same school would now be split apart. This is contrary to Mr. Rouse’s vision of building neighborhoods and communities.

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Developing a redistricting should go beyond spreadsheets of numbers and charts. It must be about providing the best possible learning environment for every student in Howard County. Busing students across the county does not accomplish this. Therefore, a good redistricting plan must focus on enabling students to attend their neighborhood schools.

Eric Greenberg, Columbia

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