Stop school redistricting in Howard County--by River Hill parents
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Petition against school redistricting in Howard County by River Hill parents
The writing of this petition was prompted by our concern regarding the “feasibility study” which advocates redistricting potentials for multiple areas of Howard County. This is an unfavorable change on many levels that requires the careful consideration of several issues:
1. Moving 8800 children is wrong and fundamentally poor flawed planning. Why do we find ourselves in this situation? Why are schools not planned and built at the same time as communities are being expanded, building permits are being issued and new homes are being built?
2. Many families purchase their homes, no matter how costly, in order to be in the school district of their choice. The suggested redistricting will adversely affect the both academically and financially. The value of homes with plummet for some causing financial losses comparable to the market crash of 2008. Who will compensate them for that? For example, when the Warfields development was first being built, it was districted for River Hill. When it got changed to Glenelg, the developer had to drop the prices by $200,000 to get people to buy. Same thing happened with the Toll Brothers community on 108. Once it switched from River Hill to Wilde Lake, they couldn’t sell those houses. It took years!
3. Children growing up in the same household develop a sense of loyalty to the school being attended by the eldest child of the household. They are already tuning in to cheer for the sport teams and look out for the success of that particular school. They will feel defeated if they move to another “opposing” (in a sense) school. It’s like making them immigrate!
4. Another negative impact of this change will be traffic. Many children will have to travel farther for school. This means that school busses will be traveling farther, impacting both the schools’ traffic as well as the traffic in the county. As a result, bus drivers will be tired and more likely to get involved in accidents thereby endangering the children.
5. Also related to the above, is the fact that a recent vote allowed for later school start times. A change in school will totally defeat the purpose of this. An increase in commute time would result in less sleep time for the children instead, the reason for the original times change!
6. To come to specifics, under the feasibility study, our neighborhood will be redistricted from River Hill High School to Glenelg High School. This will result in the depreciation of our property value, money that we worked hard to accumulate in order to offer our children our preferred high school – River Hill. Although Glenelg is a good school, we did not choose that as our school. It would have been a lot less costly for us to do so as we all had the choice when purchasing our homes. This is not only financial in consideration but also academic. For instance, River Hill is consistently ranked in the top 10 of all Maryland high schools and is ranked in the US News and World Report top 500 high schools in the country. Glenelg is NOT. We as homeowners specifically bought in this area and paid higher amounts for our homes to go to River Hill!
7. We are aware that the Glenelg High School district is growing. How will that impact the future? Glenelg is on a septic system, will that system be able to accommodate all the additions?
Common sense would dictate that things need to be done differently. Schools need to be built at the same time as developments without promise of certain districts if not able to accommodate. The proposed high school to accept overflows from Atholton, Hammond and Reservoir, needs to break ground yesterday!! We cannot only look at short term and then redistrict as things change! It is unfair to both the children and families who work hard to live in this county (and pay the tax for it!)! If funds are lacking at the moment – though they should not be – we are willing to volunteer for fund raising events in order to avoid changes for our children. IT seems that several schools need to be built in the near future. Let’s aim at building all the necessary schools before they are actually needed and as the developments are being put in place.
Redistricting SHOULD NOT be an option in HOWARD COUNTY! Let’s not redistrict reactively but rather plan properly. Let’s look at the growth patterns and build schools before they are needed. Let’s leave our kids where they and their families are comfortable and where they have chosen to be. Let’s KEEP Howard County on the list of best places to live in the US!
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