The following letter was sent to Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Tomback and members of the Board of Education. A copy was provided to The Dagger:
Board of Education Members,
My name is Charlene Lunsford, I am Fountain Green Elementary School PTA’s Vice President. I am again writing to you on behalf of the citizens of the “Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor” communities. This is my second correspondence with the BOE because I received no response to my previous email.
I feel the need to point out some discrepancies concerning the FGES school district presented at the last redistricting meeting on February 7th. First and most importantly, the community was referenced as having 47 students at the last meeting. This number is inaccurate; there are 22 – 23 students in this community who attend FGES, which includes some of our current fifth grade children. (see attachment with original STAC redistricting map that has the current number of children depicted) I ask that you please take a look at the data you collected for the Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor neighborhoods. Enrollment numbers play an enormous role in this process; I would please ask that the data is double checked before a final decision is made.
Second, there is an underlying problem with the way this community has been selected to be redistricted. This community was NOT included in the original STAC redistricting map, the Stone Ridge community was. STAC listen to the factual data supplied by the Stone Ridge community and when the second STAC redistricting revision map was presented Stone Ridge was returned to Fountain Green Elementary school (see attachment with revised STAC map) however Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor was chosen to be redistricted. Stone Ridge did not present an alternate move in their presentation; they presented factual data that showed that there is no reason to redistrict any community within the FGES district because we have had declining enrollment, no potential for future growth and our current enrollment numbers show we are not over capacity. It can be inferred that Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor are being targeted for the sole reason of being able to say that redistricting was implemented in the FGES district.
Furthermore I find it personally disturbing that I have not seen the proposal from the “Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor” in the public submitted proposals: STAC review, analysis, and recommendation Matrix. It has been stated that no alternate plans were posted to the matrix if there was not an alternate move of students listed to allow that community to stay in a district, THAT IS NOT A TRUE STATEMENT. Stone Ridge, the first community in FGES that was slated to be redistricted, was listed on the matrix and their plan simply asks that they be retained in the FGES district with no alternate move. My question again is why was their request heard when the appeals of “Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor” have gone unanswered. I think it is prudent at this time for the BOE to consider the public perception that it gives everyone that STAC obviously agreed with the data the Stone Ridge presented that shows there is no need for redistricting in the FGES district but still decided to redistrict another smaller community in the FGES district. It could be alleged that the revised redistricting being attempted in the FGES district is being pursued just for the sake of being able to say redistricting was implemented in our school district which I find unacceptable given that fact children are affected by this decision.
The PTA at FGES stood behind the Stone Ridge community like we stand behind the Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor communities because we felt once the accurate enrollment data was exposed and considering our declining enrollment and the fact that we have no potential for future growth we felt there was no need to redistrict at FGES to keep us under capacity. Please do not uproot these communities’ children from their friends and school just for the sake of saying redistricting was done within the FGES district when it is just not necessary. I thank you again for your immediate attention to this matter.
Charlene Lunsford, FGES PTA VP
I have attached the original STAC redistricting map which depicts the correct amount of children in the Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor community, and the Stone Ridge Alternate Redistricting Plan which shows the correct enrollment data present and projected for the future for FGES which supports our appeals that the Fountain Green Heights/Green Valley Manor communities should be allowed to stay in the FGES district.