BEL AIR, Md. - It was standing-room only at the Harford County School Board meeting Monday night – the first meeting since the county unveiled its proposed elementary school redistricting plan.
Every elementary school in Harford county is affected -- either losing students or gaining them, and a lot of parents aren't too happy about it.
‘I'm a mother of three school-age children, and I am now having to explain to them that they will no longer be attending their neighborhood school,’ said Beth MacMillan, whose children attend Youth’s Benefit Elementary School.
Many of the schools in the Fallston area are above 100% capacity, while others in the northern parts of the county are well below 100%.
School officials say that needs to be balanced out before the arrival of hundreds of new families who are coming to Harford County because of the new BRAC jobs moving to Aberdeen Proving Ground.
But the parents who came here say a move would be disruptive for their children. ‘This has nothing to do with North Bend (Elementary School, to which some students would be moved). North Bend is a good school. This is about taking our children out of their community, and moving them to a community where they have no ties,’ said Janet Knight, whose children attend Forest Lakes Elementary School.
‘We moved from another Harford County community to come to Fallston for a reason. Now within less than two years we're going to be told that our children will have to be moved to another school. This is not fair to do to our children and we ask that you slow this down,’ added Melissa Tutas, whose children attend Youth’s Benefit.
During public comments made during their meeting, the board members stressed that the plan is preliminary, and that it can be changed. ‘I'm absolutely listening and taking into consideration everything that's been brought to us,’ said board member Alysson Krchnavy.
But they also admitted that in the end some parents will be disappointed -- they hope the children won't be. ‘People will not be happy until their kids come home from school, the new school, the first day and talk about how nice their teacher was or how great the principal was,’ said board member Ruth Rich.
The school board hopes to vote on a final plan by late February.
Between now and then, there will be several meetings that will allow parents to speak with the board directly. Comments can also be submitted through the school system's web site. You can find all that information here .
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