From: Sheron Lumsden Rupert
County Councilwoman Theresa M. Pierno, D-District C, wants Harford School Superintendent Ray R. Keech to lower class size. County Councilwoman Susan B. Heselton, R-District A, wants schools stocked with sufficient computer equipment. County Councilwoman Joanne S. Parrott,R-District B, wants the libraries updated and expanded. County Councilman Robert S. Wagner, R-District E, appears to be expressing the feeling that his extensive educational background more than qualifies him to determine which categories of the education budget should be funded.
Dr. Keech has had "real life, live," extensive experience inguiding school systems into the 21st century. He and his staff had already developed a budget that would have begun to lead us into the 21st century, but they were told it was unrealistic.
The taxpayers,other than educators and politicians, don't seem to feel that the children and the school employees are a real priority. Dr. Keech, his staff, his teachers and support personnel are expected to work longer,harder and be more creative to put on well-planned and well-implemented "TV shows" in every classroom daily for every child with less public support, while enduring stressful situations, degrading slander, disrespectful insults, lack of appreciation and inadequate funding.
Heselton seems to feel that paying $115 for a newly-hired teacher to take the National Teacher Exam is not a necessary incentive. Heselton and her colleagues should be sent out to do the recruiting.
Letthem try to recruit well-educated, well-prepared, intelligent, resourceful, "top-of-the-crop" college graduates to teach in Harford County, or anywhere else, while expressing attitudes about what teachers aren't worth, don't need and can't have.
Does Heselton believe thatthere are bright, talented, well-educated, energetic and highly motivated college graduates out there lining up in droves to beat down the doors to public education classrooms so that they can be insulted, disrespected, ignored, overworked, stressed out and inadequately compensated? How naive.
Women and minorities are no longer "tracked" into the classroom, and many Caucasian men feel that the classroom is "beneath them."
Veteran teachers are becoming aware of where else to go with their acquisition of new technical skills and experience, especially math and science teachers.
Wake up, folks. Fight crime,drug abuse, violence, apathy, poverty and unemployment by making education a real priority.
More testing, record keeping, data gathering and rhetoric from politicians, panels and commissions are not going to prepare our future citizens for tomorrow's expectations, needs and problems. We aren't even prepared for today.
Sooner or later wehave to live with what we don't appropriately and adequately educate, and the numbers are rapidly increasing.
Check the overcrowded prisons and talk to victims. Stop waiting to clean up at the end of theparade. Get in step at the beginning.
TREE PROTECTION OVERDUE
From: Linda Riley
A group of citizens in Harford County have gathered to show support for a tree conservation plan. This proposal, which may be presented to the Harford County Council for approval, is long overdue.
One of our best friends is the tree, and we should help protect it.
The developers who cut these trees down should be the ones to conserve them or replant them.
The developers inthis area are a strong force because of contacts in high places and money. They will fight this proposal as they did last year and will use all kinds of scare tactics and excuses to try to weaken or defeat this.
We, the people, need to present a strong force also. We can do it if we pull together. This year's proposal to conserve forests and trees is much more detailed and thought out than last year's. It is fair.
If you are at all interested in being part of this citizen's force, you can do the following:
* Call or write the Harford County Council members and encourage them to vote for this tree conservation plan.
* Display a green ribbon on your car.
For more information and ways to help, please contact Linda Riley at 676-6817 or Kathy Brown at 836-1050.