Archives for 2019
FEI Statement 11.06.2019
FEI applauds the BOE for its majority agreement not to move forward with Superintendent Martirano’s plan, which our members have worked tirelessly to prove was flawed from its inception.
The BOE now faces a critical crossroads: will board members take steps to earn Howard County’s trust, or ignore due process as we move towards a finalized redistricting plan for HCPSS?
FEI firmly believes in putting our students’ needs first and minimizing student moves while following Policy 6010 as closely as possible. However, we are extremely troubled to witness a continued lack of BOE unity coupled with inconsistent logic being applied to redistricting planning. We respectfully urge the BOE to take immediate action and prioritize the following:
- Transparency. As the debate continues, new polygons are being proposed for redistricting. These community members did not have the opportunity to provide public comment before the BOE and must be allowed to have a voice in their children’s future.
- Consistency. Criteria to move a polygon MUST be standardized, objective, and based on specifically addressing capacity as the primary criteria for moves. Our community’s feedback via written letters, public testimony, and public attendance at board sessions shows an overwhelming majority oppose extreme disruption to our students as proposed in Superintendent Martirano and Ms. Mallo’s plans. Distance should be a factor in all redistricting criteria and a standard must be established to ensure fairness for all.
- Inevitability. High School 13 is slated to open in 2024, and redistricting must be forward-thinking. Public work sessions have thus far demonstrated the BOE needs a specific plan for the HS13 district. Poorly executed and hasty redistricting will mean significant double moves in the future.
To our community, FEI encourages you to continue to submit written feedback to the BOE and express your opinion on the priorities we’re advocating for. Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name and polygon number. Don’t wait – the time for action is now.
FEI Statement 10.31.2019
As the HCPSS area adjustment process moves forward, FEI commends the BOE for the collaboration and compromise witnessed at last night’s work session. We continue to support Dr. Wu’s plan, but acknowledge it will take the ideas and work of multiple board members to create a final solution. FEI continues to strongly support the following principles as redistricting planning evolves:
- Putting our students’ needs first and minimizing student moves.
- Providing a solution that incorporates BOE and
community feedback, with a focus on:
- Fiscal responsibility – our County must adhere to a budget, and cost is a clear factor in redistricting.
- Maintenance of community boundaries and feeds (per Policy 6010 IV.B.2.a and b) – we need to avoid frequent widespread redistricting and provide stability for our students.
- Focus on improving socio-economic status and supporting the reduction in achievement gaps for the neediest, not just balancing percentages
- Planning for a bright future. Poorly executed and hasty redistricting will mean significant double moves due to High School 13, slated to open in 2024.
- Consistency with proposed legislation put forth by the Howard County State Delegation. State legislators have proposed legislation which also logically separates balancing utilization and capacity from addressing the achievement gap, while also aiming to address both important issues efficiently and appropriately.
Lastly, FEI believes a transparent process is critical. When prioritizing community feedback, we urge the BOE to remember that as new polygons are proposed in planning, these polygons did not have the advantage of speaking before the BOE during a community hearing. Adequate time must be allowed for our neighbors to submit written testimony.
We encourage our entire community to stay engaged and submit your thoughts as plans evolve and appreciate the BOE’s continued openness to feedback and listening to our County’s residents.
Opinion: What students from low-income homes really need
Redistricting in Howard County schools
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