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Letter overstates education rights | READER COMMENTARY

Letter overstates education rights

As a friend and admirer of Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan, I regret that his death should have provided an occasion for special pleading by two education activists, Bebe Verdery and Kalman Hettleman, who know better (“Recalling Judge Kaplan’s big impact on public schools,” Jan. 11).

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While Judge Kaplan in two unappealable opinions said that there was a “constitutional right in Maryland to an adequate public education,” the Court of Appeals in 2005 said: “we caution the court to be careful in the kinds of declarations and orders it issues.” No such right to education appears in Maryland’s constitution and recent experience with COVID closings suggests that until the power of teachers’ unions over teacher certification and salary schedules is broken, massive appropriations and well-intentioned judicial admonitions will not improve Maryland’s schools.

George W. Liebmann, Baltimore

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