Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Politics drives school construction decisions in Baltimore County [Letter]

After spending the last year digesting the central area school construction proposal released by Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance, I am amazed by how much the more things change they more they stay the same ("Dance tells Kamenetz he's dropping plans for two schools," Aug. 5).

Those of us who have made Baltimore County our home for the last 30 or 40 years fully understand the segregated history of our county and its "haves" and "have nots."

Over the last decade, the central area received everything — new windows, millions of dollars in renovations and air conditioning. No mention was ever made to the amount of money this area received because we all know this was County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's and former County Executive Jim Smith's tax base.

How could we forget the image of Mr. Kamenetz posturing at Ridgely Middle School to give it air-conditioning because he needed the votes of those parents and community members? What many of us realized over the years is that other areas of the county, including schools such as Pleasant Plains Elementary School and Halstead Academy, received nothing.

It would be easy to pull the race card on this, but that would only apply to Halstead Academy — a predominantly African-American school. It's clear that socio-economics and politics entered into decisions regarding construction projects, and they now are rearing their ugly heads again.

While Mr. Dance's plan was "convoluted" and involved several factors, I must give him a B+ for equity. For the first time, the schools in the lower central area were getting something.

The superintendent could have easily altered the plan and made Loch Raven Elementary School a neighborhood school, and I guarantee we wouldn't be here. But then the county executive couldn't appear like a knight in shining armor to the council. That's why an elected board would be so much better for us, because right now the county executive controls the school board.

Beth Unruh

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Kamenetz's opportunity to help Baltimore — and the county

    Kamenetz's opportunity to help Baltimore — and the county

    The new report this week from the regional Opportunity Collaborative didn't unearth much that anyone who has lived in Baltimore for long didn't already know. The area has tremendous resources in higher education, health care and high-tech industries but also deeply concentrated poverty. The opportunities...

  • Don't blow it, Mr. Kamenetz

    Don't blow it, Mr. Kamenetz

    My father once told me that "if you can't save your employer a dollar, then you're not worth your paycheck." It's an old-fashioned idea, laughable these days, considering the amount of money that's squandered on unproductive programs and consequently, unproductive employees.

  • Animal shelter lawsuit far from 'frivolous'

    Animal shelter lawsuit far from 'frivolous'

    I am shaking my head in disgust, not because of the lawsuit regarding the conditions at the Baltimore County animal shelter (having seen first hand the deplorable conditions in county animal shelters), but because of the callous, ignorant statements made by Don Mohler ("Residents sue Baltimore...

  • Balt. Co. bond bills a mystery

    Balt. Co. bond bills a mystery

    A few days ago, I received a sample ballot from the Baltimore County Board of Elections. I am a recently arrived resident of Maryland and consider this a worthwhile public service. Other states I have lived in did not provide such a guide.

  • Balto. Co. taxpayers need a rescue

    Balto. Co. taxpayers need a rescue

    Let's see, everyone else is doing it so Baltimore County decides it will start charging for ambulance service ("Fees to start for medical transit," July 21). Absolutely perfect reason to charge county citizens.

  • Backtracking on the Bay

    Backtracking on the Bay

    Baltimore County has no shortage of polluted water. From the Gunpowder to the Patapsco rivers and the Upper Chesapeake Bay to the Jones Falls, the county has eight bodies of water that have been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as "impaired," meaning they are too polluted...

  • Szeliga: Kamenetz wrong about landfill

    Szeliga: Kamenetz wrong about landfill

    As reported by The Sun ("Parents want school improvements; Kamenetz asks their help to kill unrelated tax break,"Kamenetz's cynical ploy,". I appreciate the opportunity to bring some additional facts into the dialogue.

  • Kamenetz has made AC in schools a priority

    Kamenetz has made AC in schools a priority

    Christina Jedra's recent article on the lack of air conditioning in area schools left out some very important information regarding the Baltimore County Public Schools ("Lack of AC in county schools affects learning, teachers and parents say," June 18). When County Executive Kevin Kamenetz came...

Comments
Loading
81°