How did that $130 million deficit happen?

It is appalling to read of a $130 million deficit facing the Baltimore City Public Schools ("After proposals to plug city schools deficit, principals face new decision: What can they expect to restore?" March 21). This tragedy did not occur in the most current fiscal year, nor in the last two or three. It has been building and apparently no one has paid any attention to the growing absurdity. Why should taxpayers throughout other districts prop up Baltimore's education shortfall? Why should city taxpayers be asked to do so?

This week, the Pulitzer Prizes for journalism were announced. I have a suggestion for next year's entry from The Baltimore Sun: Investigate the why, how, and when of the deficit from the time it began building to when the parties responsible for ignoring the problem conducted their misdemeanors or perhaps bold misadvantures.

State-approved casinos were earmarked to provide a certain percentage of their profits for education, and there are occasional reports in The Sun suggesting casinos have enjoyed significant popularity and resulting profits. This "earmark" was supposed to avoid education budget deficits and create a financial boon for education funding.

It would be most interesting to learn what really happened to the casino windfall.

Rosemary Eck, Baltimore

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