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Friday  •  September 13, 2019

CR-112 and the Relative Ethno-Racial Composition by Age in Howard County

By Steven Keller

County Council Resolution 112-2019 is coming up for a vote next week. The full resolution can be found here:

The chart below shows the ethnicity distribution by age for Howard County. This chart should be shown to anyone supporting CR 112—2019 . The intent of the resolution towards working on reducing the achievement gap across Howard County schools is a noble goal, and that should be sought in a future County Council resolution, but CR 112-2019 should be dead-on-arrival based on its definition of Howard County as ‘segregated’.


The resolution does not specify de jure vs de facto segregation (e.g. racial segregation vs. socioeconomic segregation). In fact, the resolution actually defines a segregated school with the following statement: “WHEREAS, according to an analysis of data from the National Center on Education Statistics, the number of segregated schools in the U.S. (
defined as schools where less than 40 percent of the student population is white) has doubled between 1996 and 2016;”


This definition of segregation should immediately and definitively disqualify the resolution from moving forward, considering the demographics displayed in this chart. It will be mathematically impossible to desegregate Howard County schools, considering that the population of 0-4 and 5-9 year olds have less than 43% Caucasians.


This is the #1 question that should be raised regarding resolution 112-2019. Opposing this resolution is NOT opposing any and all efforts at working to reduce the achievement gap within Howard County. Such efforts should be sought with a new resolution that properly defines both the problem at hand as well as the state of Howard County regarding its diversity. This is about labeling the problem correctly and having a solid foothold as the starting point in this endeavor. The definition of ‘segregated’ that this resolution uses for the school system is inherently flawed and as such, County Resolution 112-2019 cannot be allowed to pass.

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