untenable

‘Just untenable’: Calls mount for improvements at South Lake Elementary

Parents, teachers and local religious leaders turned out at an elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland, to call for construction of a new school, which they say is desperately needed.

Parents, teachers and local religious leaders turned out at an elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland, to call for construction of a new school, which they say is desperately needed.

Members of Action in Montgomery, a community advocacy group, stood outside the building that was riddled with problems, from overcrowding to infrastructure and even rodents, as WTOP reported over the summer.

South Lake has almost 900 students, which is well over the original building capacity, and is home to the most Black and Latino students of any county elementary school. It also has the highest number of children who are participating in free meal programs.

“It’s just untenable to think that a school that’s filled with Black and brown children is going to be passed up,” said Daniel Xisto, pastor at Takoma Park SDA Church, directly to the county council. “They need to be woken up.”

Back in May, county lawmakers voted unanimously to delay South Lake’s new school construction by a year, with a completion date of September 2024, despite Montgomery County Public Schools’ recommendation to prioritize the school in the county’s Capital Improvements Program.

The Montgomery County school board recommended that the council reverse their decision and put the school back on track for a September 2023 completion.

County Council member Craig Rice chaired a session of his Education and Culture Committee last month to revisit the issue. A plan is on the table to rearrange and front-load fiscal year funding to accomplish that goal.

All committee members agreed during their meeting that South Lake needed to be prioritized, including Rice, who said that South Lake “certainly rises

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