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County executives should not have the power to cut school budgets

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. has been holding town hall meetings with residents of the county as he prepares to close a budget gap.  (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski's commentary on Baltimore County’s budget crisis and the stated need for the schools to cut their budget illustrates why county control of the school system's funding should be ended (“Baltimore County executive: school budget can be trimmed without affecting teacher pay,” Feb. 19). There are obvious conflicting priorities here.

Schools need a dedicated funding source. Schools should receive a dedicated portion of local taxes, and state funding can address wealth inequities between districts. If schools need more funding, let them ask the voters for additional funding through property tax or income tax increases. If the county needs more money, let them justify that need to the voters.

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Let's elect all school board members so that there are no appointed board members to dilute the citizens’ will. This is certainly oversimplified, but I believe that working through the complexities is worth the effort. There are enough fiscal problems to manage without adding structural governmental obstacles to funding our schools.

Larry Williams, Towson

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