Dance Further Delays Magnet School Rule Decision
A Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman said the superintendent will need more time to study a rule which does away with priority placement for students with siblings in magnet programs.
Baltimore County families waiting on a decision about a controversial magnet school rule change will have to hold out for a good while longer.
Shortly before the end of his tenure, former Superintendent Joe Hairston announced in April 2012 the end of a rule that granted kindergartners automatic admission into elementary magnet schools their siblings attend, starting in the 2015-2016 school year. Parents of affected students appealed to Superintendent Dallas Dance soon afterward to overturn the rule change.
Dance said in August 2012 that he planned to make a recommendation to the Board of Education about the rule in February, but school system spokesman Mychael Dickerson said Wednesday that it will likely take another year before a decision is made.
"As [Dance] began to look at [the rule], he saw it was something that would need to be looked at more comprehensively," Dickerson said.
Dance is expected to present a report to the board by February, stating that he needs more time to investigate the rule change.
Parents of students at Cromwell Valley Elementary Magnet School in Towson were especially vocal about their opposition to the rule change, arguing that the change would be a burden on families. A group of them appealed to Dance and board members to reconsider Hairston's decision at a July board meeting.
District 5 Councilman David Marks supported the Cromwell parents, and additionally asked the board in June 2012 to codify a practice of giving magnet school admission priority to students living within walking distance.