News from Annapolis
2020 Session:                            Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
Week One



  *  What's NEW in 2020--Almost Everything!
   *  Howard County's School Redistricting Fiasco, 
and What's Next
   *   Year of the Woman
   *  One Hundred Years Ago!
   *   Actions of the Howard County School Board
   *  District 9-A Legislative Scholarships:
Instructions & Application
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What's New? 
The Speaker of the House
& t he President of the Senate!
House Speaker Adrienne Jones 
was elected and sworn in last April in a Special Session.  But her first opportunity to perform as Speaker during Session came this Past Wednesday Jan. 8, when the new 2020 Session began. Speaker Jones represents District 10 in Baltimore County.
Senate President Bill Ferguson 
was also sworn in this past Wednesday.  President Ferguson, at 36 years of age, was the youngest member of the Senate from his election in 2010 until 2018.  He represents District 46 in Baltimore City.
     The selection of Jones and Ferguson creates a leadership team that is younger, more progressive, and more diverse than under the two Mikes.  Nonetheless, the minority can expect a fairer and more open reception from the two new leaders.
       Speaker Jones has always been a quiet, down-to-earth delegate, and as Speaker, she will be more likely to focus on legislation policy than on partisan politics.
       The same can be said of Senator Ferguson.  A bit more polished than his predecessor, he is thoughtful on issues and less interested in beating up on the minority. 

       It will be interesting to see if this assessment of our two new leaders will be as positive at the end of the session as it is now. 
Howard County's Redistricting Fiasco
        As virtually everyone knows -- and as reported in the New York Times -- Howard County, Maryland, suffered through a heart-wrenching process of school redistricting this past fall.  As a state delegate, I avoid getting involved in issues that are specific to the county, such as normal school redistricting; I got involved in this process because it was anything but normal.    
        "Redistricting" is always unpopular; neither kids nor their parents like moving kids out of their neighborhood schools. However, it's occasionally necessary to move students around to relieve schools that become overcrowded. 
        Unfortunately, last year the Howard County superintendent and a majority of the elected school board decided to use the redistricting process as a vehicle for social engineering.
       Relying on ambivalent research, the County determined that we needed to address "economic segregation" in relocating children. Economic segregation is a newly minted politically correct agenda that suggests children living in lower income communities must be sent to schools in higher income district, and vice versa.
      The agenda postulates that this is necessary and good because (1) lower-income students benefit from the more plentiful resources available in higher income communities, and (2) higher income students benefit from "experiencing the diversity" in lower performing schools.
       While the concept may be valid in communities where local governments invest significantly fewer dollars in low-income
Random team for "Simulated Congressional Hearing" (SCH) day at TRES
school districts than in the wealthier districts, this justification is essentially moot in Howard County where all of our schools are well-funded and successful.   The idea that students in wealthier school districts must change schools to be able to "experience diversity," is absurd!  
          I have six grandchildren in Howard County schools, and this accusation of racism in our county boggled my mind.  My experience -- indeed, my eyes -- tell me that our schools are wonderfully diverse.  A few weeks ago I ran across the above photo.  I took it when I was an SCH judge for Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School.  (The lovely young lady in the middle is granddaughter, Skylar).  I'm not sure how much more racially balanced this randomly-selected team could be.
     Indeed, of all the school jurisdictions in the country, Howard is one of the  least  likely to need redistricting to achieve some amorphous concept of socioeconomic integration.  
Below are highlights from an article I wrote that appeared in on November 7, 2019.  
Redistricting as Social Engineering
          " Just three years ago, the Howard County school superintendent as well as its Board of Education flatly ignored the passionate voice of the community. There were consequences.
          The members of the School Board that signed the unpopular superintendent to a new 4-year contract were voted out of office. And the new Board had to pay over $1 million to remove the superintendent.
         Three years ago, parents were frustrated and unhappy; this year, parents are frustrated and furious - and with good reason.
          Superintendent Michael Martirano introduced his "Attendance Area Adjustment Plan" -- generally referred to as the Redistricting Plan -- on Aug. 20. Community response was swift, voluminous - over 5,700 pages of comments, and virtually all negative.
          The plan was immediately suspect because of the sheer number of students it would transfer - 7,396 out of the 57,346 students, or almost 13%.
"Socioeconomic" segregation
          The superintendent's plan included a new trend in social engineering. Socioeconomic integration is designed to "advance equity by addressing the distribution of students participating in the Free And Reduced-price Meals program (FARMs) across schools to the extent feasible." In other words, redistricting kids based on family income. . . 
. . .by introducing the idea that we must balance schoolchildren by family income and calling it "socioeconomic integration," this process has stirred up racial unrest and has created a false impression about the county's true racial character.
          As one comment said, "You're creating so much hate and animosity in the name of equity. It's a shame you can't do better than this."
Redistricting: What's Next?
        The redistricting fight is not over.  It now moves to Annapolis, for better and worse. For better, seven separate appeals have been filed with the State Board of Education. For worse, two members of the Howard County delegation have introduced legislation that  could continue to split our neighborhoods for years to come.  
     At the Delegation hearing in Howard County on November 19 th,  Bill 01-20 titled " Board of Education - Redetermination of Geographic Attendance Areas" was introduced. If passed, this bill will essentially
create annual redistricting
     The bill says, "If student enrollment at a permanent school facility is not within Target Utilization [defined in the bill as between 90% and 110%], the County Board shall re-determine the geographic attendance area of the permanent school facility."
       Fortunately, there are several opportunities for the community to make its will known.
        In order to pass, the Bill will face a second hearing in Annapolis. It must then be voted on and passed by the Delegation. The bill will then be assigned to a committee that will hold yet another hearing. The committee may then vote to approve or deny the bill; in the alternative, the committee chair may decide to kill the bill by failing to bring it up for a vote. If the bill is passed by the committee, it will go to the floor for a vote of the House where there is over a 99% chance that it will pass. 
        There is still an opportunity to affect the outcome when the bill is sent to the Senate. It must be heard and passed by a Senate Committee and by a majority of all Senators. The best chance to affect the bill is as early in the process as possible.
       News from Annapolis will keep you advised on the status of this bill, as well as the progress of the appeals.
Year of the Woman
100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
       This year, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.  
          I am honored to have been elected President of the Women's Legislative Caucus of the Maryland General Assembly for 2020.  It is particularly exciting to lead this large, bi-partisan caucus in the Year of the Woman, when we are celebrating so many milestones.  In addition to witnessing the election of the first woman Speaker of the House in Maryland's history,  and the largest number of women ever to serve in the General Assembly, (72), we are also celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
        We have certainly come a long way, as women, as a nation, and in our culture.  For those of you who weren't around back then, here's what was happening back then.
100 years ago . . .
What a difference a century makes! 
      Here are some statistics for the Year 1919:    
  •  The average life expectancy for men was 47 years
  •  Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only. 
  • Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub. 
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. 
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
  • The average US wage in 1919 was 22 cents per hour.
  • A mechanical engineer earned one of the highest wages at about $5,000 per year.
  •  More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.
  • Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard." 
  • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. 
  • Coffee was fifteen cents a pound. 
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, And, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. 
  • Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
  • The Five leading causes of death were: 
    • Pneumonia and influenza 
    • Tuberculosis 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Heart disease 
    • Stroke 
    • The American flag had 45 stars ... 
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30. 
  • Canned beer hadn't been invented yet. 
  • There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day. 
  • Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write 
  • And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school. 
  • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.
  •  Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help...
  • There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A
Just THINK what it might be like in another 100 years!
Actions of the Howard County School Board
The Board of Education of Howard County voted January 9, 2020, to adopt positions on local Howard County Delegation bills, with the following outcomes:
  •  Ho.Co. 1-20 - Howard County - Board of Education - Redetermination of Geographic Attendance Areas: OPPOSE
  • Ho.Co. 2-20 - Howard County - Residential Property and New Home Construction Advertisements - School District Information: NO POSITION
  • Ho.Co. 4-20 - Howard County - School District Boundary Changes and Sales of Residential Real Property: SUPPORT W/AMENDMENTS

SUGGESTED AMENDMENTS: To ensure this covers all residential property sales (including condos, multifamily, duplex, townhouse, two-over-twos, etc.) HCPSS recommends "single-family" be removed (first line on page 2 under A). The Delegation may also want to address the impact of rental agreements.

  • Ho.Co. 6-20 - Howard County - Board of Education - Reporting on Demographics and Reduction of Academic Disparities: NO POSITION
  • Ho.Co. 13-20 - Howard County - Public School Program Capacity - School Board and Planning Commission: SUPPORT W/AMENDMENTS
SUGGESTED AMENDMENTS: While the Board supports the portion of the bill (specifically ยง9-1303 beginning at line 24 on page 2) that allows the Howard County Planning Commission to reject proposed residential projects where capacity is projected to be greater than 115%, HCPSS recommends removing the section prohibiting enrollment above 115% in any HCPSS school (specifically C (2) beginning at line 15 on page 2).
  • Ho.Co. 19-20 - Howard County - Education - Report on Deferred Maintenance: SUPPORT 
  • Ho.Co. 22-20 - Howard County - Public Campaign Financing - Board of Education: NO POSITION
  •  Ho.Co. 23-20 - Howard County - Public Schools - Reporting of School Data: NO POSITION
  •  Ho.Co. 26-20 - Howard County - Transfer Tax - Rate Increase Authorization: SUPPORT W/AMENDMENTS
SUGGESTED AMENDMENTS: HCPSS recommends an increase in the percent distributed to the school system to not less than 50%, as well as broadening the potential use of such funds to Howard County Public School System capital improvements (rather than specifically the School Site Acquisition and Construction Fund which can only be used for the purchase of school sites and the construction of school buildings) to give flexibility in meeting school system capital needs.  

Further information regarding the discussion of these bills can be found within the Board meeting records from last evening:
Delegate Kittleman Scholarship
College students 
and college-bound seniors (and/or parents thereof) 
If you live in Legislative District 9-A 
( western Howard County and southern Carroll County)    
I Invite you to apply for one of my legislative scholarships.
District 9-A Residents:        
          Current high school seniors and full-time or part-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students, graduate students and students attending a private career school may apply.
For questions regardi ng the a pplication process, call my Annapolis office and speak with Chelsea Leigh Murphy at 410-841-3556.
Please be sure to have your completed application postmarked by April 1, 2020.
Delegate Trent Kittleman
District 9A, Western Howard County and Southern Carroll County (Sykesville)
Room 202, Lowe House Office Building
6 Bladen Street,   Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3556  *   [email protected]
Interim Office
3000 Kittleman Lane,  West Friendship, MD 21794
301-661-3344  *   [email protected]
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy