Some thoughts on AAC redistricting proposal

The AAC is still taking comments from the residents, but I am not sure how exactly certain comments are evaluated. Last night Polygon 147 (newly developed Centennial Overlook and 50 years old Woodland and Oak Hill) definitely showed up strong in the meeting room and their presence moved them back to Centennial High. Originally their neighborhood was moved to Wilde Lake High School.

I talked to several really concerned parent groups on the parking lot and here are my thoughts.

1) Walkers should stay walkers. Busing them away is wrong. We can move kids in many ways, but when HCPSS is short of funding, extra bus service will cost much more. Walkers are one of the core parts of a school district. Tearing that feelings of belongings apart is totally unnecessary and wrong.

2) Maintaining contiguous neighborhood’s stability is very important.

3) Now many over capacity schools are back to 100%. This actually creates new capacity for new housing developments there again. So those current over capacity schools will be filled up quickly again. Then what is the purpose of this redistricting?

4) Strong APFO is needed to avoid future redistricting chaos again. Show up in front of the County Council on September 11. Wear Yellow. The mess should stop now.

a) Reduce APFO capacity from 115% to 100%.

b) Remove the three year probation period. Right now if a project fails the APFO test at the first try, it will pass automatically without a second test after waiting for three years. This is the loophole.

c) Increase the developer fee.

 

8 thoughts on “Some thoughts on AAC redistricting proposal

  1. Manisha Salunkhe Chatur says:

    These are all excellent points and reducing APFO from 115 to 100 will solve most of the problems and anguish associated with redistricting especially for the kids! If we don’t the only people who benefit are the developers!!

  2. Andrew says:

    Why redistricting school kids when the county planners messed up? The zoning and school planners are the ones who should be redistricted out of their jobs!!!

  3. Andrew says:

    If the developers build the houses without schools being built, then the houses should not be allowed to be occupied. This is just like when the supporting infrastructure like sewage is not built, the house cannot be occupied. Or the potential buyers should be told that the kids in these houses will not be allowed to register in the existing schools because the schools are over crowded.

  4. Jim says:

    It is disturbing that Centennial Outlook/polygon 147 of the neighborhoods identified for transfer from Centennial to Wilde Lake is saved due to a combination of several reasons:
    • Affluent neighborhood threatening a law suit.
    • A brand new neighborhood with no real ties to any of the Centennial schools (1 year old)
    • 90 new houses rammed through P&Z into an existing neighborhood by Beazer builders with a mix of political influence and low ball estimates of impact (50 new ES students vice ~20 estimated) – plus they got top dollar by promising Centennial schools.
    • Closer distance to Wilde Lake than other polygons proposed to be moved.
    • Demographically affluent, educated, concerned with education, and predominantly Asian – all factors that would be much more valuable at WLHS than CHS.

    But a combination of organization and threat causes the AAC to cave rather than use fairness or logic. Polygon 147 won but other children will be effected.

  5. Andrew says:

    Jim, can you please explain your logics that affluent Asian should be sent to Wilde Lake? Why homeowners paid premium for their homes should be sacrificed because of county planers’s cozy relatedship with the bigger builders?

    • Jim says:

      Andrew: Bottomline on school quality is the students (and parents) make the school NOT teachers, reputation, or facility. Right now the three top schools in HC by US News and World Report, Niche and other ratings are River Hill, Marriotts Ridge and Centennial in that order. If you look at http://www.hcpss.org/school-planning/aac-process/ racial and FARM statistics it is pretty easy to see that those factors not building are what effects ratings. All three top schools are over 30% high achieving Asians (30 -40+%) and have relatively low FARM rates. Wilde Lake is a good school but % of Asians low (7%) and FARM is high. That is the politically incorrect, statistically correct (which is what I do for a living) truth about quality of HS’s in Howard County.

      Centennial Overlook parents should consider suing Beazer builders and their realtors who didn’t explain the facts of redistricting. If not now when the next HS is built they will be vulnerable again. The APFO rules need to be changed but that won’t help this round of redistricting which should be done fairly. BTW my kids are grown and my neighborhood is not on redistricting list – this time.

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