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All poor schools need additional state helpThank...

All poor schools need additional state help

Thank you for the Jan. 19 column by Michael Olesker ("Money plan for schools provokes a shrug") on the prospects for General Assembly passage of the additional funding needed to settle the Baltimore City schools lawsuit.

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House Speaker Casper Taylor describes the challenge of educating the legislature, and the Maryland Education Coalition intends to continue doing just that.

Everyone who has looked at this topic seriously, including the Hutchinson Commission, has found that the amount needed to make the city schools minimally adequate is many times above the $254 million over five years proposed in the settlement.

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The settlement is based on the principle that every child deserves a high-quality education. We believe a fair formula can be enacted that provides equitable funding for every child in Maryland.

MEC proposes that the additional city funding should be provided as grants to meet the special education needs of children living in poverty and that all jurisdictions should receive poverty grants on the same basis.

The grants would be added as part of the general foundation formula for state aid (APEX) and, thus, the per-pupil amount would be greater for lower-wealth jurisdictions.

It is possible to both reform the schools in Baltimore City and be fair to the rest of the state. It will cost money. Therefore, MEC opposes any tax cut that threatens fair and equitable funding for public education.

We all fervently hope that the reforms will improve school and school-system management, but the truth is that the waste of talent by failing to educate children is a much greater tragedy than any possible waste of funds.

Charlie Cooper

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Maryland Education Coalition.

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Adult students are no dummies

In a Jan. 3 letter to the editor the author stated that many adults are "being told that they must take 'Dummy English' and 'Dummy Math' before they can enroll in courses of primary interest."

My question is: By whom are they being given advice using such unprofessional and degrading terminology? I presume that these are labels given for non-credit remedial courses.

I recall that when Catonsville Community College began, the average age of its first students was 26. That means that many of those students were out of formal schooling for a number of years and this situation probably exists today.

For these older students as well as for late blooming high school graduates there will probably always be the need for remedial courses, especially in math and English.

I contend that these students should not have to suffer the indignity of being enrolled in courses callously named "Dummy Math" and "Dummy English."

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H. David Reese

Towson

Confederate flag has sinister message

Although I am pleased that Maryland will no longer allow the Sons of the Confederacy to display their symbol on Maryland license plates, I am growing frustrated with the tone of the debate on the issue.

Once again, on the front page of the Perspective section (Jan. 12), I see the debate focused wrongly on the Civil War. As I said on these pages some three years ago, "the Confederate flag is not only the flag of Jeb Stuart, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis." This flag also belongs to James Eastland, Lester Maddox and B. J. Stoner.

James Eastland made speeches where he preached white supremacy. The Confederate flag was there.

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Lester Maddox held an ax in the face of black people who wished to eat in his restaurant. The Confederate flag was there.

B. J. Stoner was taken into questioning for his role in a church bombing that killed small children. The Confederate flag was there.

What did the Sons of the Confederacy do during this time to distance that flag from these racists?

I am confident that if any of the numerous institutions I have been associated with throughout my life were to find their symbols being used by such racists, their leadership as well as their rank and file would quickly have done what was necessary to disassociate the institution from racists.

The Sons of the Confederacy did not begin this disassociation until many years thereafter.

Dennis G. Olver

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Baltimore

There's another flag that flew over slavery

If the Confederate flag on Maryland license plates reminds some of slavery, didn't we have slavery under our American flag?

Will Old Glory be recalled next?

Thomas E. Fallon Sr.

Westminster

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Harford County under attack

Gov. Parris Glendening's comments, in his Jan. 15 state of the state address about suburban sprawl, could not be more timely for the residents of Harford County.

I, for one, cherish the "best about Maryland -- the Chesapeake Bay, our agricultural heritage, our green fields and our open spaces." However, Harford County is under the onslaught of uncontrolled development.

The most recent attack is in the form of a large shopping mall complex proposed for the Riverside community.

Only the developers would benefit from a mall which replicates White Marsh Mall only a few miles away.

I, as a county resident, would see only increased traffic, loss of yet more open space and probably higher taxes to support new infrastructure for such a large commercial development.

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I urge all Harford County citizens who are opposed to this project to voice their opposition to County Executive Eileen Rehrmann.

Theresa R. Connell

Bel Air

Editorial logic questionable

Your Jan. 14 editorial, "In defense of the presidency," employs some questionable logic.

You state the voters elected Bill Clinton even though they knew the details of Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones charges against him. You seem to forget that the president has constantly denied these allegations and sought to disparage his accusers.

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Furthermore, the media have cooperated by withholding information about these cases. I feel the voters made their choice because they were largely ignorant of the details.

You also state that postponing the Paula Jones case would not hurt her, but would insure that the office of the president would not be jeopardized by a mid-term trial.

Does this mean that Paula Jones should be denied equal rights because she is not politically prominent?

I do not recall your paper taking this position when Watergate caused the demise of a Republican president.

Charles Hebler

Baltimore

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Pub Date: 1/28/97


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