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More spending on education doesn't necessarily mean better schools

Joe FlaccoMartin O'Malley

Donald F. Norris gives us a liberal rant in his recent commentary about education funding ("Flacco's pay and our skewed priorities," June 12).

He says he has but "little" envy for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's pay and that the star player's $20 million yearly salary is not his reason for writing. Yet, his attack on the business of sports, and on entertainment generally, contradicts that assertion. And so far as professional sports and public education are concerned, he seems to think that apples are oranges.

Mr. Norris says he wants "greater funding" for public education in America — as if more money necessarily means better education. Does it? Perhaps he needs to do some "analysis and research" at the "institute" he directs. The facts might surprise him.

In any event, he contradicts himself when he pats himself on the back for the fine job he and his colleagues at University of Maryland Baltimore County are doing. If Mr. Norris is to be believed regarding funding, it is a miracle that UMBC is able to function at all.

But it is in the final two paragraphs that Mr. Norris reveals who he is and what the true point of his ramblings is. He wants me to feel guilty because I am a middle class taxpayer, have a flat-screen TV (actually I have two) and "buy the goods and services sold by advertisers and sponsors of the games."

Apparently, he would have me not buy tickets to see the Ravens play, not watch TV, not use the services of Comcast, etc., so that I could put the money in his pockets and those of his colleagues, who are, after all, "hardly slackers." (I would love to know what his salary is.)

Tellingly, no blame is placed on Gov. Martin O'Malley and his liberal colleagues in Annapolis for what Mr. Norris regards as America's failure to "adequately fund education." I am left to wonder why. And I am also left to wonder if there is any amount of money that would satisfy the expansionist dreams outlined in Mr. Norris' commentary.

George E. Bell

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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