Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has released the following statement on the Howard County Public School System’s Board of Education redistricting vote:

“The redistricting proposal by Superintendent Martirano, and the subsequent debate, leading to the Board of Education’s final approved plan was challenging for our community and caught the attention of national media and academic experts. I share the concerns of many in our community about the Board of Education not reaching a stronger consensus and clarifying data provided by HCPSS.

Throughout this process, I purposely did not get involved, weigh into the details, nor take a side, to ensure the integrity of the process and keep it as free from political influence as possible. I believe school redistricting, which is exclusively under the purview of the Board of Education, should be separate from the office of the County Executive.

Redistricting within a school system is one of the toughest processes for any local Board of Education to undertake and the process impacts many of our families and communities.

However, this is a necessary process for counties, like Howard County, in order to better manage class sizes and capacity rates, balanced with our long-term plans for building new schools and providing the proper public facilities to serve our population.

Although I wish this process would have been less contentious among our residents, I do appreciate everyone’s passion and engagement on this issue ― no matter their opinion on the proposed plan or final product. I want to thank everyone who was engaged.

It is now time for us to begin the healing process and start coming together as a County. Moving forward, it is my hope that we continue to share a common goal – to provide all our students the best public education possible and foster the best teaching environment for our educators.

Let us commit to using our passion for educational excellence to collaborate, partner, and innovate to ensure that every Howard County school represents an exemplary and diverse community of achievers, built on shared values of inclusion, civility, and opportunity for all.”