What Happened at Last Night’s White Flint 2 Planning Meeting on Schools

What Happened at Last Night’s White Flint 2 Planning Meeting on Schools

Okay.  The Planning Board just put up the presentations from last night’s meeting, so here is my long summary of what was discussed at last night’s White Flint 2/Rock Spring Planning Meeting on Schools. You can view the presentation here.

Here’s the calendar for the Sector Planning Process:

July 11, 2016     WF2 Community Meeting: Review Preliminary Draft PlaRecommendations

July 28, 2016   Preliminary Draft Plan Recommendations to PlanninBoard

September 2016  Staff Working Draft Plan to Planning Board

October 2016  Planning Board Public Hearing

October-December 2016  Planning Board Worksessions

January/February 2017  Transmit Plan to County Executive and County Council

Bruce Crispell from MCPS reported on the projected number of students that will be generated by White Flint 2 and Rock Spring. There are three possible development plans for each sector.  (You can learn more about the three options in White Flint 2 here.)

The WJ Cluster will have a majority of the students that will come from the White Flint 2 area, though there will be a number of students who will instead be part of the Down County Consortium. All of the Rock Spring students are part of the WJ Cluster.

As you can see below, there could be anywhere from 245 to 420 additional elementary school students in the WJ Cluster, 100 to 180 additional middle school students in the WJ Cluster, 130 to 225 additional high schools students in the WJ Cluster. The Downcounty Consortium could have 45 to 75 additional elementary school students, 15 to 30 additional middle school students, and 25 to 40 additional high school students. This is in addition to the projected students from the full build-out of White Flint 1.


White Flint 2 Downcounty Consortium Students


White Flint 2 Walter Johnson Cluster Students

rock spring

Rock Spring Student Projections






















Next, Debbie Szyfer, a senior planner at MCPS, discussed the recently concluded WJ Roundtable.  The Roundtable was charged with discussing general approaches to solve the near-term and long-term enrollment increases and solve the projected space deficits in the elementary, middle, and high schools in the WJ Cluster. The Roundtable came up with ten options for secondary schools and eight options for elementary schools. You can read all about the options here.

Here’s the timeline for the Roundtable process.

October 13, 2016  Superintendent’s Recommendation
November 3, 2016  Board of Education Worksession
November 10 & 14, 2016  Board of Education Public Hearing
November 21, 2016  Board of Education Action

Next, Pam Dunn, Functional Planning and Policy Chief, discussed the Subdivision Staging Policy which is currently being revised.  (The Subdivision Staging Policy is updated every four years and sets the rules for how adequate public facilities like schools and transportation.) Pam discussed the revisions being considered to the Subdivision Staging Policy. You can read about these revisions in more detail, including their impact here. (They’re toward the end of the slide show.)

1) Calculate School Facility Payments and the School Impact Tax using student generation rates associated with residential structures built over the prior 10 years.
2) Implement a hybrid annual school test that combines cluster utilization tests with individual school capacity deficit tests.
3) Update the calculation of the School Facility Payments on a biennial basis using the latest student generation rates and school construction cost data.
4) Limit counting placeholder capacity for a particular cluste rlevel or school as funded capacity under the Annual School Test to two years.
5) Update the School Impact Tax amounts on a biennial basis to reflect current school construction costs and updated student generation rates.
6) Remove the 0.9 multiplier in the School Impact Tax, so as to capture 100% of cost of school construction associated with a new residential unit.
7) Reintroduce the School Impact Tax and School Facility Payments in former Enterprise Zones through a phased approach.
8) Conduct further research to develop the criteria and process by which an area of the County can be exempted from the School Impact Tax and School Facility Payments
9) Further investigate options to increase the recordation tax to better capture the school construction cost associated with a home sale.

One final tidbit:
MCPS did a 30-year projection as part of the Roundtable process.  They project that in 30 years, WJ will have 3,600 students, Tilden will have 1,450 students, North Bethesda will have 1,300 students, and there will be 5,500 elementary students in the six elementary schools in the cluster.














Amy Ginsburg


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