Conference Reading: In Howard County, a ‘courageous’ plan to redraw school boundaries tests community’s commitment to diversity

In Howard County, people pride themselves on making everyone feel welcome. Bumper stickers say “Choose Civility.” The county’s pioneering newtown, Columbia, was founded on the premise that people of different races and economic status should live side by side. Now, those convictions are being tested by a proposal that seeks to redistribute some 7,400 of the school system’s 58,000 children to different schools — in part to address socioeconomic segregation that leaves children from poor families concentrated in certain schools. Signs like “No Forced Busing" and “Don’t Dismantle Communities” are appearing in protests in front of River Hill High School, where nearly everyone is affluent and very few are black or Hispanic. A Facebook page called “Howard County School Redistricting Opposition” has more than 1,900 members. (Balt. Sun)

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