UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (DC News Now) –Older buildings and overcrowding classrooms are an issue in Prince George’s County Public Schools, and education leaders are considering a rezoning plan to address those issues. The proposal includes closing down schools in the county and some parents are not happy about that.
Danielle Gaither’s kids attend Pointer Ridge Elementary school in Bowie, one of the few schools the district could close down in a rezoning plan called the “Comprehensive School Boundary Initiative.”
“My child’s education also comes first, and if you close down a school like Coroner’s Ridge who is nationally recognized it’s a four-star school with a nationally recognized EGATE program. You’re not valuing the education. It’s simple as that,” said Gaither.
District leaders said the rezoning plan is focused on balancing schools’ enrollment by transferring students from older buildings with an overpopulation of students to newer, underpopulated buildings.
Parents like Gaither don’t believe closing schools is the right way to tackle it.
“Do it individually and say okay, district one, let’s look at your elementary schools. Let’s apply this thinking, let’s apply some of the recommendations that we got from the consultants. So I think their recommendations are valid, but applied incorrectly,” she said.
Former District 5 Board of education member Raaheela Ahmed is working with parents to get their voices heard.
“This is not just about individual people saying that we need this or we need that it’s literally a collective community coming together. Hundreds of people 1000s of people saying keep the school open and that means something,” she said.
Parents said they’re also concerned about what happens to the buildings after they close down.
“It’s more than the education they offer after school programs for parents, for siblings, that helped them learn English help them you know, with their job application, citizenship, whatever that is, but it’s an actual staple. In the community. Again, there’s no recommendations to kind of support that need. So if you close down that school, you’re closing down that support.”
New recommendations from Chief Executive Officer Monica Goldson will be introduced at a board meeting on Thursday. The proposal will be voted on at a meeting on November 10, 2022.