Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Urgency Not So Fierce?

Just when you thought redistricting season couldn’t get any worse, from Oakland Mills Village Board Chair Jonathan Edelson:

Superintendent Proposes Replacement of Talbott Springs Elementary School
DEFERRED until at least 2026 from 2021.
Dear Neighbors and Friends of Oakland Mills,
Today we discovered very disturbing news while browsing the Board of Education's website to learn about the agenda for tomorrow's BOE meeting. The construction of a new Talbott Springs ES was the top priority in Dr. Martirano's (HCPSS School Superintendent) FY 2021 Capital Budget and FY 2022 - 2026 Capital Improvement Planuntil today.

Talbott Springs ES, UNTIL TODAY, was the #1 priority capital improvement project for all HCPSS school with construction to begin in 2021 and expected occupancy in 2022.  TODAY, Dr. Martirano provided an updated Capital Improvement Plan that  recommends to DEFERRING funding for TSES new construction until 2026 and greatly de-prioritizing this project.  The  # 1 priority for construction of a new Talbott Springs ES, which was intact as recently as this September 5 capital plan, has been removed and the project now listed as future funding.  Dr. Martirano will present this plan to the Board of Education at  
5:00 p.m. tomorrow, September 10, so we need immediate action
CALL FOR ACTION:  Please email the Howard County Board of Education at boe@hcpss.org; HCPSS Superintent Martirano,Superintendent@hcpss.org; and
COPY the email to  
County Executive Calvin Ball,CalvinBall@howardcountymd.gov; Howard County Councilmembers, councilmail@howardcountymd.gov; Senator Guy Guzzone, guy.guzzone@senate.state.md.us; Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, vanessa.atterbeary@house.state.md.us; Delegate Shane Pendergrass,shane.pendergrass@house.state.md.us; and Delegate Jen Terrasa, jen.terrasa@house.state.md.us.
Please email your message. Make it simple and to the point:
"Funding for construction to replace Talbott Springs Elementary School must remain as the TOP PRIORITY project 2021 and there be no deferral in funding.  

This project is long overdue and has been "on again/off again" for years. TSES is one of the County's most overcrowded schools and rated among the worst facility in the school system.  To have a facility with failing systems, noisy classrooms, and inadequate space is unacceptable.  It is unconscionable to defer another seven or eight years when you have the land available, the design plans, and the commitment of the school and broader community to the effort to move forward now." 
Please take a moment to review the letter sent today from the Oakland Mills Board of Directors:  
Attached is the HCPSS Superintendent's Capital Funding Budget showing Talbott Springs as the #1 priority on a chart dated Sept. 5, 2019 and further down in the document removed from current FY 2021 funding and recommended for deferral until 2026:


I have a lot of questions about this, and I’ll be back tomorrow to ask them. In the meantime, send a letter if this is something you care about. Time is of the essence here; the Board meets today.

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