Thousands of teachers, parents, and students gathered and marched down Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis earlier this year to call on state officials to fully fund education.
Thousands of teachers, parents, and students gathered and marched down Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis earlier this year to call on state officials to fully fund education. (Doug Kapustin / Capital Gazette / BSMG)

The main reason that the Kirwan work group is meeting in private is that they would not survive the comments of the public who will eventually have to pay the bills (“Over objections, Kirwan work group votes for closed-door session on how to pay for Maryland education proposals," Sept. 19). The purpose of the meetings is to determine how much counties and the state will have to pay for proposals such as implementing full-day pre-kindergarten and increasing teacher pay. Basically, they are trying to figure out where the $3.8 billion will come from annually.

How they plan to do this in a vacuum without input from city and county voters is beyond me. And even Chairman William E. “Brit” Kirwan himself stated, "We will be putting models out there to see how the formulas would work. I personally think it would be a disservice to the public to see numbers that will have no real meaning. It would be very confusing. ... People will get all excited or upset over information that will never come to be.”

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Models are one thing, and financial reality in the state and county coffers is another. And believe me, Mr. Kirwan, they will get excited and upset over any attempt to tax them without their input.

Alvin Thornton was right when he said “I just thought the issues we had to discuss could be appropriately discussed in front of the people of Maryland." They are paying the bill in the end. Don’t hide behind closed doors, Mr. Kirwan.

Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

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