OMHS Redistricting Comparison
The current Oakland Mills High School district has the greatest percentage of students on FARM of all high school districts in Howard County, and it includes mostly low-income areas of Columbia (Figure 1).
Two moderate-income areas are included in the Oakland Mills district, one to the northeast and one to the southwest.
One can see other high-income areas bordering the district to the northeast and southwest.
Oakland Mill is enrolled at 80% capacity, and Howard High School, which borders on the northeast, is over enrolled and will be at 140% capacity if it is not redistricted.
One might think that it would be prudent to move some of the students from Howard HS to Oakland Mills, but many oppose this proposal.
The Feasibility Study proposed a different solution as well (Figure 2).
The initial proposal from the redistricting panel proposed removing both moderate-income areas out of Oakland Mills HS district, and adding several additional low-income areas.
This proposal increased the travel time to the high school.
Many parents from the removed districts objected to being removed, as they believed OM to be strong academically and culturally.
The Attendance Area Committee (AAC) restored one of the moderate-income areas and added an additional neighborhood currently attending Howard High School (Figure 3).
The neighborhood attending Howard HS objected, saying that making their high school children ride a bus was dangerous and wasteful.
The next iteration of the AAC removed these neighbors (Figure 4).
Thus, none of the redistricting proposals decreased the concentration of low-income students in the district.
For an alternative comparison, we show the effect of simply moving some students who attend Howard HS into OM district (Figure 5).
Note that this change not only decreases the concentration of FARM students from nearly 50% to 30%, it also balances the number of students in both schools, and decreases the length of bus rides for OM students compared to bringing students all the way from Route 95 as proposed.