School plan is poorly conceived; shortchanges allI...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

School plan is poorly conceived; shortchanges all

I am writing in response to your glowing editorial congratulating the Carroll County Board of Education on its vision and forethought on the proposed redistricting (Redrawing school lines, Feb. 2).

Have you actually reviewed this plan? As it stands, my children, who live 2.5 miles from Liberty High School and 3.2 miles from Oklahoma Middle School in Sykesville (where we live by the way), will be bused over 12 miles to Westminster High School and almost 15 miles to West Middle School in Westminster.

I think that families deserve more consideration than this. If I had wanted my children to attend schools in Westminster, I would have purchased a home there.

The biggest reason children will need to be bused so far is that the school board planned poorly when choosing sites for the new middle and high schools. They are building the new schools north and west of Westminster when even they will acknowledge that most growth is taking place south and east.

In order to fill these new schools and ease overcrowding, children are being bumped north to school outside of their communities.

This isnt fair. If the school board was really concerned about the children, it would be building community schools instead of mega-education complexes.

Both Liberty High and Westminster High are overcrowded. Where does the county choose to build a new High School? North of Westminster High.

Now, logically, it would make more sense to build a new high school in Finksburg, which is between Sykesville and Westminster. This would also maintain the integrity of the community.

Parents in Carroll County invest a lot of time as volunteers within the schools, and back the schools financially when it comes to computers, gym equipment, etc. that the budget doesnt allow for. I think we are being shortchanged by the board once again.

Tracy L. Burke

Sykesville

The metric system is right where it belongs

Regarding U.S. metrification (Just inching along, OpinionCommentary, Jan. 23): Weve already gone metric enough.

The government has already forced what it can enforce: no more can one purchase a fifth of whiskey.

I do not find this hard to swallow. It would take me a lifetime to use 750 milliliters of gin anyway, so maybe the government has saved me a little cabinet space.

I havent spent any time wondering why soda comes in one-liter and two-liter bottles, but imported German beer comes in 12-ounce bottles. My refrigerator has enough cubic feet for all. We teach the inch and the pint and the pound to our elementary school children precisely because they are what the child will encounter in life.

Any child who can use a pocket calculator to multiply by 1.6 or 2.54 or divide by 2.2 has what it takes to deal with the metric system.

The metric system is part of the language of science and is part of our schools science curriculum, right where it belongs. It takes about ten minutes to learn if you missed that day in grade school.

Jeffry D. Mueller

Eldersburg

School board member supports Holt, Nevin

March 7 is the primary election to narrow the Board of Education race from 24 candidates to four.

The board is responsible for managing 55 percent of your tax dollars and for overseeing the education of 27,000 students in Carroll County public schools. You need to chose who will best serve our children in this election.

As the newest member of the BOE, I thank you for your overwhelming support in the last election and during my first year in office.

Unfortunately, there is a justifiable amount of discontent with the current school board. I agree that the time has come for a major change in the way business is done. That change will only happen with the election of two new board members in November.

Obviously, I have a great interest in who will serve on the board with me and I am encouraging the voters of Carroll County to consider two excellent candidates, Susan Holt and Stephen Nevin.

Both have children in Carroll County public schools and have been active in the schools and in the community for many years. They are community leaders with long resumes of working with county government and community organizations for the good of the children in our county.

They are both very aware of the fiscal responsibilities associated with public service and are dedicated to directing our limited tax dollars into the classroom.

They are willing to make the necessary commitment of time and energy to be active board members by visiting schools, meeting with teachers, involving PTAs, working cooperatively with county and state government and most importantly being available and accountable to the communityHolt and Nevin are willing to ask the tough questions, seek responsible answers and follow through to ensure the system is serving the needs of our children. Their track record speaks for itself.

If you are looking for an open, informed and accountable Board of Education, and members committed to representing you, the time for change is now - please support Susan Holt and Stephen for Board of Education on March 7.

Susan Krebs

Eldersburg

The writer is a member of the Carroll County Board of Education .

Give residents the right to decide on government

Its insulting and demoralizing that at least three members of the all-Republican Carroll County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly dont believe citizens are capable of determining if five commissioners, elected by districts, is a better form of government than the current three commissioners elected at large.

I was shocked to read that Sen. Larry E Haines, who was adamantly opposed to the referendum proposal, said that Carroll County already has the best government in the state. ...

One can only interpret his comment to mean that since the delegation and county commissioners are all Republicans, why is there a need for change? How myopic of the senator to ignore the pleas for representation from the citizens, his constituents, of Carroll County.

After voting to defeat the proposal, Senator Haines sought to justify his action by cloaking himself as a public official who doesnt think everything can be put to a referendum.

The issue was just that, a referendum. Should the same citizens who elected representatives to the General Assembly be trusted to vote on the form their county government should take? Timothy R. Ferguson, Joseph M. Getty and Larry E. Haines didnt believe the voters should be given the chance to decide this single, narrow issue for their governance.

They have done a grave disservice to the very citizens who elected them and now seek an opportunity to vote for district representation at a local level.

This was solely a local concern to be decided by all of the voters of Carroll County.

I, for one, do not appreciate my Republican General Assembly members deciding this parochial issue for me.

The citizens of Carroll County they ostensibly represent deserve the right to choose for themselves.

M. Sue Hoffman

Finksburg

Vote for the message, if not the messenger

William H. Hyde has outlined his budget and presented it to the public. Now he will ask the elected board to rubber stamp his document. Next he will try to get the parents all worked up to rally behind him as he makes his $194 million pitch to the commissioners.

I personally have a problem with supporting Mr. Hyde in this endeavor. The current board, Susan W. Krebs excluded, and the current higher level of administration lack the credibility to ask the commissioners for such an increase. Their track record for handling funds is at least questionable and at most negligent.

However, I beg the commissioners not to confuse the message with the messengers. The message, which is completely endorsed by the citizens of Carroll County, is to provide the best possible education for our future: the children.

By funding the requested budget, you start down the long road of decreasing class sizes, increasing learning opportunities and moving slightly closer to paying teachers their true worth.

This is a budget that will help shape the future of Carroll County. Focus on the good that will result from your positive acceptance of this document and not the mistakes of the past. The children of Carroll County are your charge; treat them well

Stephen M. Nevin

Finksburg

The writer is a candidate for the Carroll County Board of Education.

Writer supports Parr in school board election

I am writing to express my suppport for school board candidate Cindy Parr. I have had both a personal and professional relationship with her for many years and can state without reservation that she would be an excellent addition.

The mother of three children in Carroll County public schools, Ms. Parr has always maintained a high level of involvement in the schools as a classroom volunteer, PTA executive board member and school improvement team member.

Ms. Parrs professioinal experience also gives her much to offer the children of Carroll County. As communications manager for the Carroll County commisisioners, she learned firsthand how the county budget process relates to the Board of Education.

Later, as marketing manager with the Carroll County Department of Economic Development, she developed contacts with the CCPS Career Connection Program, and supports the value of strengthening the education system through business and education partnerships.

As president of the Carroll County Childrens Fund, I have worked closely with Ms. Parr, who serves as executive director of the fund and can personally attest to her commitment to improving the quality of life for Carroll Countys children in more than just educational needs.

All voters in Carroll County, with or without children in the public schools, have a stake in their education.

We owe it to ourselves and to them to become familiar with school board candidates and to vote in the childrens best interests.

Karen J. Boswell

Finksburg

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