I am disappointed that The Baltimore Sun failed to reveal the real source and bias of James V. Shuls' commentary, “More misguided spending will not fix Maryland schools” (June 24). I’m confident someone will address the substantive falsehoods and inaccuracies, but that’s not my point since everyone has the right to express their opinion. I do believe that readers of that op-ed should have some indication of who James Shuls was working for in doing the piece and where the governance and funding comes from since he is hardly simply an assistant professor of education from Missouri, which is how The Sun identified him.
Mr. Shuls did the work on behalf of the Maryland Public Policy Institute. Two board members emeritus of the institute are Governors Larry Hogan and Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Another board member emeritus is a Hogan appointee serving as chair of the Maryland Stadium Authority. At least one other is a significant contributor to President Donald Trump and other Republican candidates at both the national and state level.
To understand someone’s perspective, it is always good to “follow the money." Funding for the MPPI since its inception until 2014 has included almost $1.6 million from major right wing sources including Koch Brothers-affiliated sources such as The Cato Institute and Donors Capital Fund, State Policy Network, Jaquelin Hume Foundation, The Roe Foundation, JM Foundation and others. Given who sets policy at MPPI and who pays the piper, it’s not surprising what the op-ed message was. Readers ought not to have to do the research I did to know that.
Marijane Monck, Columbia
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