On Tuesday I received an email from Joel Gallihue, the Manager of School Planning for Howard County Public Schools. He was responding to the two posts I wrote concerning the closing of the RECC at Ducketts Lane and my concerns that both Veterans and Ducketts exceeded their capacity so quickly. He wrote,I supervise the development of enrollment projections and long range capital planning which is documented annually in the Feasibility Study.
I read your blog posts which reference the Feasibility Study. Please feel free to contact the Office of School Planning directly with your questions. We are always very happy to help.
And so, dear readers, I put the question to you. What questions do you have for Mr. Gallihue? I have asked a few friends for their thoughts on this, but I want to spread the net wider before I get back to him. Since he has been helpful enough to step forward, I want to give him some really decent questions. And yes, that does mean thoughtful and respectful rather than angry or accusatory.
It's also true that the responsibility for situations like Veterans and Ducketts does not rest with the school system alone. Every time our county makes a decision to allow the development of land for the kind of housing which attracts people with families there will necessarily be a price to pay down the road in increased enrollment. The two go hand in hand. Or maybe they don't. Maybe that's the problem?
I don't see my mission here as pointing fingers at anyone. My goal is to ask the right questions, to see what could be done to make the process work better. Why? Because I'm just curious like that. Or maybe because I'm a teacher and a parent and it really matters to me.