MCPS accidentally releases highly anticipated boundary study report

By Emily London

MCPS officials and urban planning firm WXY released an interim report March 18 on the boundary study, which seeks to collect data on MCPS school demographics and boundaries. The report’s release ended the first phase of the project, which included over a year of data analysis and community meetings

MCPS and WXY originally planned on releasing the report in late February, but later postponed the release date indefinitely to focus on the COVID-19 virus outbreak. However, the report surfaced in a local Facebook group on March 18.

“We all found out about the release on Facebook, which made me a little bit perturbed that they didn’t announce it,” Whitman parent Yeages Cowan said. “I’m inclined to give MCPS a pass on this, though, because they are trying to deal with this COVID-19 nightmare.”

Though many parents have been anticipating the release, some weren’t happy with the quality of the report. The report was full of errors and was very poorly written, Cowan said.

“When I started reading it, I wanted to bang my head against a table,” she said. “It’s so poorly written, but beyond that nothing in it even matters. It doesn’t say anything new.”

Since former Student Member of the Board Ananya Tadikonda’s introduction of the proposal in 2018, the boundary study has been controversial, with tensions occasionally boiling over. But some students, like junior Josh Harkins, think the boundary study is a good start at redistributing resources more equally.

“MCPS is trying to see how they can better equip the county school system,” he said. “It’s a good thing they’re trying to do this, because nothing like the boundary study has happened in such a long time.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MCPS officials have cancelled previously scheduled in-person community meetings to discuss the report until further notice. Many people, like Cowan, are disappointed about the inability to ask questions about the report.

The county is correct in postponing discussions about the boundary study until the outbreak has ended, Harkins said.

“The boundary study has a lot of long-term importance, and it requires our full attention,” Harkins said. “Right now, though, we have a much more pressing short term issue to handle.”