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William "Brit" Kirwan, chairman, conducts a meeting of the Kirwan Funding group as they meet in an Annapolis hearing room. Rachel Hise, a staff member, is on left.
William "Brit" Kirwan, chairman, conducts a meeting of the Kirwan Funding group as they meet in an Annapolis hearing room. Rachel Hise, a staff member, is on left. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

When I ran for a position on the Baltimore County Board of Education, I heard many people tell me how Gov. Larry Hogan supported public education. As a retired teacher, this was news to me (“The $25,000-a-table attack on Maryland public schools,” Oct. 15).

In August of 2016, Governor Hogan called the leadership of the teacher unions, and by association teachers, “thugs” (“Hogan calls union that opposes his education budget decisions ‘thugs,'” Aug. 5, 2016). I did not know any of these people living a thug life, and I certainly did not. I was told how the governor increased spending, even though the legislative branch approves funding. The governor’s reelection commercials were obviously effective.

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It is no surprise Mr. Hogan is against the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations. I admit simply adding money will not solve education’s problems. The real issue is the negative perception our elected officials have toward education. There is a resignation that nothing will help, so why spend money trying to fix it? There are no failing schools, just failing policies. Educators have been excluded from most education reform yet bare the brunt of criticism. There is even the accusation that there is a school-to-prison pipeline, again blaming educators for outcomes. Remember, however, that a pipe is simply a conduit placed in its position by a plumber.

It is time to hold those who make and finance educational decisions accountable. The Kirwan Commission’s recommendations go beyond additional spending, but it would be good to remember the commercial that said, “You can pay me now or pay me later.” A superior education system is much more cost effective than the alternatives.

Edward Kitlowski, Towson

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