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The plans to make more room at Balt. Co. Schools

Posted at 11:30 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 09:48:12-04

Sitting elbow to elbow at lunch and staring down the possibility of leaving your friends because of redistricting.

It's been a problem for a long time, some Baltimore County Schools are filled to the brim with students.

On Tuesday night WMAR2 News’ Eddie Kadhim was the only reporter at New Town High School where an important survey about the issue was released to parents.

Lines, numbers, data all pointing at the squeezed in elephant in the room.

Over the next 10 years Baltimore County is projected to be 1,700 seats short.

Parents were given three scenarios and a survey to weigh in on.

All three options include an addition at Dundalk high school and the replacement of Loch Raven and Towson High Schools.

Scenario A has the most projects at the lowest cost.

Focusing on relocating students with the largest amount of magnet seats added.

Scenario B is the most expensive at $628 million.

The middle option similar to option A but increases the capacity at Dundalk and Pikesville.

Scenario C includes no magnet seats created but makes both new schools--Dundalk and Towson able to take on more students.

Tryone Bullock Jr. has three girls--two of which are already dealing with overcrowding at elementary schools.

He wants to see the high schools that have room improved.

"There shouldn’t be a school in this county with the amount of people that we have here with the tax base with all the things we have here,” Bullock Jr. said. “There shouldn’t be a school where anybody should be worried about their kids going to.”

Anirban Basu, is the CEO of Sage Policy Group Inc., the group that collected the data from a previous survey that had seven available scenarios.

Basu said that he realizes that parents are weary of any redistricting, and that it will be impossible to make everyone happy given the financial constraints that come with funding projects.

“A Couple scenarios have a new Delaney High School, one of them doesn’t,” said Basu. “The scenarios have new high schools at Towson, Loch Raven, Western School of technology, a new school. Different stakeholder communities within the county are going to look at these scenarios differently.”

Some parents shared their concerns about property values going down if schools are redistricted.

For Matt Richardson said he picked Catonsville in large part because of the schools there, and doesn’t want to see his kids moved to other schools he’s already invested in.

“When people start playing with numbers and talking about redistricting and then their not really clear about whether redistricting is going to be voluntary or involuntary I feel like the devil is in the details here.”

There will be two more public meetings from 7 p.m to 8 p.m.

•              Monday, September 24, Eastern Technical High School, Cafeteria

•              Tuesday, October 2, Loch Raven High School, Auditorium/Lobby

The survey is available here until October 7.

The results and recommendations will be brought to the Baltimore County Board of Education.