Private CollegesEditor: William F. Maloney neglects to...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 07, 1991

Private Colleges

Editor: William F. Maloney neglects to mention in his Oct. 2letter that Maryland's independent institutions of higher education are grappling with a 25 percent reduction in state funding this year, with the possibility of further cuts lurking just ahead.

Like their public counterparts, the state's independent colleges and universities have willingly weathered the vicissitudes of Maryland's fiscal climate for years, and to suggest that they be eliminated from consideration in the budget is short-sighted, at best.

It should be noted that one of the unique aspects of the American higher education system is a strong and vital independent sector made possible by its tax exempt status. The existence of an independent sector relieves the public of an additional tax burden of more than $12 billion annually.

Furthermore, all deserving students should have the choice between public and independent institutions regardless of financial circumstances. Low and middle income families must have this opportunity for their children and special efforts must be made to increase the participation of minority students.

Finally, between 1970 and 1988, institutionally provided aid to undergraduates at independent institutions increased by 102 percent (after inflation). Independent institutions cannot afford to increase financial aid expenditures from their own resources at the current rapid rate. More federal and state financial aid is vital.

A balance of public and independent higher education, and the continued support of both, is essential if Maryland is to regain its economic vigor.

Rev. Joseph A. Sellinger, S.J.

Baltimore.

The writer is president of Loyola College in Maryland.

Good News, Bad

Editor: The recent good news from UNICEF that its goal of immunizing 80 percent of the world's children had been accomplished seems to have gone largely unnoticed. What should really have our attention is the relatively poor showing that our own nation made in those statistics. Overall, about 70 percent of U.S. children are immunized; urban areas report even fewer -- 50 percent and falling.

Both houses of Congress want appropriations to support inoculation of children, but the level of funding recommended so far will not get the job done for all of them. The American Academy of Pediatrics has claimed $336 million could assure 100 percent of the children would be reached.

What are we waiting for? Surely, our youngest citizens deserve this investment in their lives and health. Members of Congress should be urged to adopt the pediatricians' recommendation and allocate enough funding to immunize all children.

Lois M. Roeder.

Baltimore.

State Workers

Editor: Neither I nor any member of my immediate family are or ever have been employed by the State of Maryland. Nevertheless, I completely disagree with laying off state

employees.

Remember, government workers, in effect, pay part of their own salaries through taxes. And workers are consumers, who could help us buy our way out of this depression. But unemployed state workers may very well become additions to the swelling welfare rolls.

Governments, be they local, state or, especially, federal, should be the ''safety net'' when ''bottom line'' private employers lay off. It is entirely inexcusable and unconsciousable for governments to contribute to the disastrous unemployment situation. And Gov. William Donald Schaefer has made an even worse decision when he does not give credit to persons for their long years of service to the state; he denies the use of seniority and ''bumping rights.'' So much for appreciation of loyalty.

Harry E. Bennett Jr.

Baltimore.

Fire History

Editor: In the wake of recent budget cuts, Baltimore fire stations again fall victim. Understandably, the closings of fire stations throughout the city stir questions regarding fire safety.

Consider, however, another point relative to this issue that many of us overlook -- the architectural merit of the fire stations themselves.

Many of these structures can be called nothing less than masterpieces. Built during a time when quality of life and aesthetics were a virtue, they are more than mere buildings where fire apparatus is housed. As the facades and adornments attest, they are a reflection of Baltimore's past. Their uniqueness in design will never again be duplicated.

Before these unheralded treasures are boarded up and left to the work of vandals and graffiti artists -- or allowed to be used for purposes other than what they were originally intended -- our so-called political leaders should take a closer look at some of these structures.

That is a must before they make rash decisions based on the bottom line of a balance sheet.

Joe Astasauskas Jr.

Kingsville.

Success in Curbing Truancy

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