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Geographic Inequity and Schools-Dundalk United against School Closings and Untested Pre-K to 8 in 2 Buildings School Format

Citizens in Dundalk are fighting back. Dundalk United opposes plan to close 3 schools and reconfigure them into an untested pre-K to 8 in 2 buildings format.

There is a new example of geographic inequity happening in Dundalk with regard to the closing of 2 its elementary schools (Eastwood Elementary Magnet School and Norwood Elementary School) and the closing of Holabird Middle School. 

Out of the ashes of these 3 community schools Dr. Dance aka "the stealth superintendent" is proposing an untested format for a pre-K to 8 school across 2 school buildings. It seems that in the not so distant past there was a similar idea for Sparks Elementary School, i.e., to create a K-8 school for Sparks.  The parents of Sparks would not hear of it and it did not happen. 

I do not begrudge the parents and student at Sparks their victory, but I think that Baltimore County Board of Education and Baltimore County Government owe that same consideration to the parents and students of Dundalk.

Superintendent S.D. Dance's Pre-K to 8 school format proposal is more about accommodating County Executive Kevin Kamenetz plan to sell off the current Dundalk Government Center land and relocate the Government Center at the current Eastwood Elementary Magnet School property. 

This has nothing to do with citizens and students, but more to do with sale development of the land where the current Dundalk Government Center is located.

A similar plan in Towson to relocate the Towson Fire Department on the site of the current Towson Manor Park to enable Baltimore County Government to sell and develop the current location of the Towson Fire Department at York Road and Bosley Avenue.  The people of Towson did not put up with this proposal.

Similarly, the citizens of Dundalk should not and are not putting up with the arbitrary decision to close and reconfigure Eastwood Elementary Magnet School, Norwood Elementary School and Holabird Middle School. 

At a packed meeting attended by all or most of the Dundalk local and state representatives, Councilman John Olszewski, Sr. told the citizens at the meeting that if they did not want this to happen--the relocation of the government center and the closing of Eastwood Magnet Elementary School, Norwood Elementary School and Holabird Middle School then it would not happen.

Tonight 3 meetings are being held: one at Eastwood Elemenary Magnet School; one at Norwood Elementary School and one at Holabird Middle School.  The next step in trying to close the 3 Dundalk schools, and reconfigure them (into an untested and not supported by educational research) conglomerate pre-k to 8 school. 

Now is the time for Councilman John Olszewski, Sr. to keep his word.  He needs to attend the Dundalk United Rally on Saturday, January 19th.  Councilman Olszewski should also go with Dundalk United citizens to the Board of Education meeting next Tuesday to show that he stands with the citizens that he represents.  

Councilman Olszewski needs to say that he opposes the Baltimore County Board of Education proposal to close and reconfigure 3 schools in his district into a school format that is unproven and unsupported by any educational research.

If you want to follow Dundalk United their Facebook Page link is: http://www.facebook.com/DundalkUnited

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lily January 18, 2013 at 12:04 AM
This story is about the wrong thing. It should read "Dundalk looses school resources and sacrifices so that Towson can can have new/renovated buildings to deal with overcrowding."
Derek Sillpoy January 18, 2013 at 02:18 AM
It's all part of the deal kidds Dundalk, you are being played. Put the pieces together. Johnny ZerO tells KK I'll bring you the east side. KK now need to pay up. Where in Dundalk can you put a Rec center and at least some of the fields? Seagrams Who owns Seagram's? Who just bought a bar right next to Seagram's no one came to before and spent tons of money in it even though they already own a successful bar a mile away? Who wouldn't want a restaurant right next to the new community center? Why is the owner of Seagram's never cited for code violations? Why does a relative of the owner of Seagram's buy Tony's down the street? Who woudn't want a carry out joint next to the new community center? This has been planned for years. But look, Johnny ZerO will save our Rec programs in the name of economic development. Dundalk playing right into his hands. The only economic development you will see will be his new vacation home. KK will be there sipping a drink, celebrating because everyone got what they wanted. By the way, the poker machines are back inside Minnick's, er, DONE DEALgan
Buzz Beeler January 22, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Good comment Derek. Amazingly, there have been no studies done on the feasibility on making these moves. I believe this has been in the works for quite some time and ties into a host of other issues in areas of their development agenda. http://dundalk.patch.com/articles/kamenetz-tours-north-point-precinct I believe the above article was a prelude of what was in the pipeline as to the political agenda of the county executive. When asked at a meeting concerning the Eastwood School by a parent as to whether or not any studies have been done regarding these moves Mr. Shepard responded that Chief Johnson said the move would be alright. This hardly meets the criteria of a study considering the location of the school and it's impact on the community. http://dundalk.patch.com/blog_posts/residents-of-eastwood-to-baltimore-county-just-leave-us-alone The Eagle reported that Mr. Vontran applied for the transfer of the liquor license at the former location know as Knuckleheads in Dundalk. The community has not been presented with any facts including the one that the county's attempt to sell the govern center has a big hurdle called POS (Program Open Space) which comes under the federal government. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/land/landconservation.asp

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