The Baltimore County School Board voted last week to move renovations to Dundalk High School higher on the schedule of projects in the proposed Fiscal Year 2022 BCPS budget.
The decision means the Dundalk High project will begin sooner projects involving Towson High and Dulaney High.
Rod McMillion, representing the southeast area, made a motion during the Jan. 19 meeting to “ establish Dundalk High School as project line item #17 and Towson High as project line item #18 in the FY2022 county capital budget.”
The motion was seconded.
There are overcrowding issues with both schools,” McMillion said to the board. “By 2026, Dundalk is projected to be 656 students over capacity, while Towson is projected to be 480 students over capacity.”
That made renovating Dundalk to add additional space a higher priority, McMillion said.
Dundalk had been behind Towson and Dulaney in the proposed budget. The motion moves Dundalk ahead of both on the schedule.
“To me, the important issue is overcrowding,” McMillion said later. “Dulaney does not have an overcrowding issue; they want a new school building.
“If they were to get their new school ahead of [Dundalk’s renovations], our kids would be in trailers for a lengthy period of time while the Dulaney building is under construction.”
Being 656 students over capacity would require Dundalk to need about 30 trailers (“learning cottages”), McMillion said.
Before the board could vote on McMillion’s motion, board member Lily Rowe called a point of order and said McMillion’s motion was out of order, as the priority order of te school projects had already been decided in a previous motion approved by the board.
It was determined another motion could be made to reconsider a prior decision if the motion was made by a member who voted in favor of the prior decision being reconsidered.
While the board was going through the formality of determining if McMillion had voted in favor of the prior decision, McMillion cut through the legalese by saying: “I’m capable of saying how I voted. I voted against it.”
Board member John Offerman, who had voted in favor, stepped up and offered to make McMillion’s motion.
After being seconded, there was discussion concerning Dulaney High before the motion carried by a vote of 6-5.
“At the last meeting, I didn’t realize they had put Dulaney and Towson ahead of Dundalk,” McMillion said. “Basically, we now have flip-flopped Dundalk and Dulaney [in the project order].”
The “new” Dundalk High School was completed in 2013, but enrollment has exceeded expectations. The design of the school, however, included plans to add future additions to the building.
The board voted unanimously to approve the chanhes to the budget.
The board will vote to adopt the budget on Feb. 9.
Also at the Jan. 19 meeting, the board voted to forward a recommendation regarding “hate symbols” to the Policy Review Committee.
The recommendation would amend R 5600, Dress Code, to read: “The Board prohibits the use of language and/or the display of images and symbols which promote hate, racial or ethnic violence or intimidation and can be reasonably expected to cause a material and substantial disruption to school activities. Such images and symbols include — but will not be limited to — swastikas, the Confederate flag, and nooses.”
Punishment for infractions will be imposed as of the 2021-22 school year.