Objectionable Redistricting

The superintendent of schools has released a last-minute, alternate redistricting plan. The folks in the Mount Hebron feeder system should prepare again for shabby treatment from the school system and the superintendent.

The superintendent's plan will not fix Patapsco Middle School's severe crowding, which was caused by the school system's bad projections. The superintendent's plan refuses to correct the error and allows Patapsco Middle to reach 120 percent of capacity in 2005, while schools such as Ellicott Mills and Burleigh Manor middle schools have many empty seats.

The superintendent's high school plan follows a county tradition of socioeconomic isolation of the less fortunate. His plan sends lower-income children to a few schools. In the north, that would be Mount Hebron.

The last redistricting improved the demographic balance in the north, splitting high-density housing along the Route 40 corridor between Centennial High School and Mount Hebron. The superintendent's plan returns to the past, when all low-income children in the north attended Mount Hebron (10 percent at Mount Hebron vs. 1 percent at Centennial).

Marriott's Ridge High School, predictably, has minimal diversity. Research shows that diversity is a good thing. Isn't it something that the school system should have at all its schools?

What is amazing about this scenario is how similar it is to the last redistricting, when the previous superintendent developed nearly the same kind of last-minute, objectionable plan to which our community had little time to respond.

Lynn Bosco

Ellicott City