Baltimore County Board Of Education Promises Action On Middle School Boundaries Amid Growing Community Pressure


The Baltimore County Board of Education discusses middle school boundaries at its June 13 meeting. (Credit: BCPS TV/ Youtube)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - The Baltimore County Board of Education sent a letter to the county council on Tuesday, promising to discuss the new middle school boundaries at its July 11 session.

"We are currently awaiting the results of the impact analysis that was requested at the June 13 Board of Education meeting," the letter states. "This timeline will ensure successful implementation of the new boundaries for our students for the 2024-25 school year."

The boundary proposal for Baltimore County schools was postponed last week. Since then, the community has grown increasingly eager for a swift resolution from the Board of Education.

At last week's meeting, Christina Pumphrey, a school board member, requested a halt on the map approval. She stated that she had been contacted by parents from Halstead Academy, a Parkville-based elementary school. According to Pumphrey, these parents want their children to attend Dumbarton Middle School in Towson rather than Loch Raven Technical Academy, where the current zoning and proposed map would send most Halstead students.

The delay frustrated local officials and participants in the months-long Central and Northeast Area Boundary Study Committee. The study included a survey of affected families, where the majority preferred map option 'E.

Map option E, as recommended by the Central and Northeast Area Boundary Study (Credit: BCPS/ Cropper GIS)

County Councilman David Marks advocated for a prompt resolution, echoing a growing sense of urgency. Marks, alongside three other council members, sent a letter to the school board, calling for a fresh vote on the matter within the month.

Disputing the diversity concerns from Pumphrey, Marks highlighted that eight out of the ten middle schools included in the proposal celebrate a diverse, non-white student body, suggesting that this plan sufficiently diversifies the student body.

"The option that was the heart of this plan was supported by 71 percent of respondents in a survey. It was the culmination of months of public meetings and tens of thousands of dollars to design a proposal that respected historical community boundaries and neighborhood diversity," Marks wrote. "Now, some want to ignore the overwhelming support of those most affected by redistricting."

Baltimore County State Delegates Ryan Nawrocki and Kathy Szeliga joined Marks in condemning the halt.

"We are very disappointed that the board did not vote to approve or deny the final option, thereby elongating the process," Nawrocki said in a statement.

"Baltimore County students, parents, teachers, and community members deserve better," Szeliga added.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for July 11.

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