On Monday, Baltimore County officials and community leaders will officially break ground on the new northeastern elementary school being constructed near Chapel and Joppa Roads. This will be the first new school in Perry Hall in a quarter-century.
The 725-seat school will open in September.
Over the past seven years, I have pushed hard for new classroom space to alleviate overcrowding. In addition to the Perry Hall area elementary school, we secured funding to construct a second elementary school near Rossville Boulevard and a middle school that will be built near the King Avenue entrance to the Community College of Baltimore County.
Much of our overcrowding occurs at the elementary and middle school levels. By ninth grade, many students opt for magnet programs that spread enrollment throughout the county, and some go to private schools. I strongly support a new high school in northeastern Baltimore County, but at the same time, we have budgetary considerations and need to focus where overcrowding is the greatest.
During my tenure on the County Council, I have supported downzoning hundreds of acres of land in the northeast to lighten overcrowding while these schools are being built. I also believe there must be a more aggressive effort by the Board of Education to verify the residency status of students attending county schools.