MCPS Regulation ECG-RA covers student parking procedures. Under the regulation, each principal "is responsible for submitting to the Office of School Performance local school procedures for student parking and subsequently any revisions which may occur because of changing conditions." The regulation goes on to state that "Principals of new high schools [are required to] submit the procedures to the chief school performance officer within six weeks after the opening of the school, and subsequent revisions also are [required to be] submitted for approval or disapproval."
A request to the MCPS Public Information Office (PIO) for copies of parking procedure documents for seven schools -- which should have been readily available from the files of the Chief School Performance Officer -- took 30 days for MCPS to fulfill. Based on dates shown on the documents, many of the procedural documents appeared to have been collected from the schools only after they were requested from the PIO. Some of the documents were copies of material from student handbooks that provided no information about enforcement procedures or fines. There was no indication that the Chief School Performance Officer -- or anyone at MCPS headquarters -- had reviewed or approved the procedures.
According to Regulation ECG-RA, parking procedures, including disciplinary actions, are to be developed by the principal of each school in cooperation with student representatives. At an October 2009 meeting of SGA leaders, no student could recall being involved in development of parking procedures.
Fines for parking without a permit vary widely. Most schools charge no fine and simply place a warning sticker on violators' cars, and tow only after repeated warnings.
Representatives at some schools, including BCC and Springbrook, stated that violators are towed immediately without issuing warning stickers or fines. Most towing is handed by Anchor Towing, which charges $95 under a flat fee contract with MCPS. A representative at Anchor Towing stated that Paint Branch High School is one of their larger customers among the high schools.
Although not allowed by regulation and not stated in any document provided by MCPS, a representative at Blake High School stated that they offer a $2 daily parking rate to students who do not have parking permits if the student pays at the beginning of the school day. Those who do not display a permit or pay the daily fee in advance are issued a $10 citation.
Regulation ECG-RA also states that students are subject to ticketing by the police, but a police spokesman stated that the county police department never issues citations for failure to display a student parking permit in a school lot because that type of infraction is not a violation of law. The police department can, however, issue citations for other parking violations, such as parking too close to a fire hydrant or parking in a handicap space without a handicap permit.
High schools are required to charge a system-wide fee set annually by the Board of Education (currently $37.50 per semester) for parking permits. Fees collected from the sale of parking permits must be used to fund extracurricular athletics, under regulation ECG-RA.
Some schools also charge a hefty fee for replacement of a lost parking permit. Sherwood High School charges $25 for replacement, according to documents obtained from the school.
A table of fines for failure to display a parking permit is below. The information in the table was obtained from security staff and business managers at each school and is believed to be accurate, but could change at any time - and apparently, without notice to students.
|Paint Branch||10 |
|Quince Orchard||0 |
|Richard Montgomery||0 |
|Seneca Valley||25 |
|Walter Johnson||40 |
|Watkins Mill||0 |