Letter: Past provides lesson for solution to Catonsville school overcrowding

Learn from past for answers to overcrowding

We have all heard, "If you don't learn from history, you are destined to repeat it."

We must learn from events 18 years ago when citizens wanted the (County Executive Dutch) Ruppersberger Administration to commit to the voters' approval to reopen Bloomsbury as a middle school. Instead, the county executive transferred the approved monies to other school projects.

Citizens of Catonsville united and appeared before the Baltimore County Board of Education, the County Council, county executive and even held hands around Bloomsbury to no avail.

Upon the rendering of the opinion by the Board of Appeals, we were ready to file an injunction to prevent razing the wings of the building on Bloomsbury Avenue.

At 7 a.m. the morning after the decision was rendered, County Executive Ruppersberger had bulldozers on site, razing the wings.

The citizens recognized the need to return the current Catonsville Middle School to an elementary school (the purpose for which it was built) and to reopen Bloomsbury as a middle school, which would accommodate all Catonsville middle school students.

Former County Executive Ruppersberger not only ignored the wishes and needs of Catonsville citizens, he lacked vision.

We advised him that older citizens were moving and younger families with children were arriving. The schools would become overcrowded, even with the new elementary school. And so they have.

Catonsvillians must consider the need for a middle school, in order to avoid redrawing boundary lines, as has been done, sending many middle school children out of the community and separating them from their friends.

Citizens will then have the necessary elementary and middle schools.

It would be reassuring if County Executive Kevin Kamenetz commits to using the approved funds for Catonsville Middle School, instead of transferring the monies to a different school project.

There was large turnout at the high school on Wednesday evening.

Be persistent and I wish you success.

Berchie Manley


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