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School choice? How about sending city kids to the suburbs

Democratic Party

Conservative columnist Marta Mossburg's Sept. 13 article "City's schoolchildren deserve a real choice" prompts a question for her about her advocacy for using taxpayer money to pay for kids to go to private schools. When she says a "real choice," does she mean it?

How about the choice for Baltimore City kids to go to better public schools in surrounding counties? Or is she just interested in boosting private schools and undermining public ones?

Back in 1995 David Rusk wrote a book called "Baltimore Unbound" in which he pointed out that the decades of white and middle class black flight from cities has left concentrations of poor African American families behind, where children grow up in a world very different from the one we're accustomed to in the suburbs.

How does a teacher cope with teaching children who transfer schools frequently, miss classes for days on end and come from non-functioning families or neighborhoods were violence, drugs and fear are rampant? Mr. Rusk argued that this concentration of black poverty needs to be dispersed, but elected officials know that is political dynamite with voters.

One suspects Ms. Mossburg is just playing the old Republican political game of criticizing Baltimore City, its children, teachers and Democrats, but not offering "real choice."

Larry Carson

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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