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.