School Is Performing

Letters to the editor

December 01, 1991

From: Loretta F. Hill

Reading resource teacher

East Middle School

Westminster

I cannot believe someone hasallowed to be published for East Middle School an MSPP reading scorethat is so far off-base.

Because we house four county special-education classes, the scores for those students have been added in the East Middle School total, giving the entire school a performance in reading of 93.2 percent. This appears as though the school did not meet the standard in this area.

In reality, when the four classes areomitted, the performance score for East Middle is 96.2 percent -- a satisfactory rating.

It is true that those special-education students must work toward passing this and all other functional tests, butthese students come from all parts of the county. If the scores should be figured in at all, they should be added into the scores of those students' home schools.

This injustice has occurred probably in other areas of the functional testing also, but someone else can fight that battle.

Editor's note: State and county results released inthe Maryland School Performance Program include test results of special education students in schools and districts. That is how the state set up the standard and rated school systems; hence, those were thenumbers we published.

VOTE ON CHARTER IN 1992

From: Joseph M. Getty

Chairman

Republican Central Committee

Carroll County

To: Charter Board

of Carroll County

We have followed with considerable interest the efforts of the Carroll County Committee for Charter Government to advocate a change in local government.

At our November meeting, we voted to recommend that the newly appointed charterboard schedule its work so the charter can be placed on the November1992 ballot.

We make this recommendation based on two concerns: 1) fairness to the citizens and voters of Carroll County and 2) fiscalresponsibility at this time of a severe budget crisis in the county.

* Fairness to citizens and voters of Carroll County:

In early statements made on behalf of the charter advocates, emphasis was placed on "allowing the people to decide on this issue." The recent statements made in the Carroll County Times reiterated this position that the current effort will insure that "the people decide."

If this concern is tantamount, then the committee will do everything in its power to place the charter on the November 1992 ballot when there will be high voter turnout.

The experience of Frederick County in its special election last week brings this point home. The county had only27.4 percent turnout in the special election. During the 1988 presidential election, Carroll County had an 82 percent turnout and probably will achieve a similar turnout for the presidential election in 1992.

If it is true that you wish for the largest voice of the peopleto speak, then a special election on the charter makes no sense.

The excuse that a special election is needed because other issues will be on the ballot is an insult to the intelligence of Carroll County's voting public.

* Fiscal responsibility at this time of a severebudget crisis in the county:

A special election in Carroll Countywould be an expensive undertaking.

In addition to the county's costs of staffing the polls, renting polling places and administering the vote count, there are costs to some segments of the general publicassociated with the impact of closing the public schools for a day.

Again, the Frederick experience is a case in point. It cost the Frederick County government through its general operating budget more than $50,000 to conduct last week's election.

What will be the source of these funds? What programs will be cut to provide the special election? Is the Carroll County Committee for Charter Government committed to privately raising these funds so as to not disrupt the funding of essential services in Carroll County?

Consider the time framefor placing the charter on the November 1992 ballot:

State law requires the following time frame for the vote on adoption of a charter: 1) The Charter board presents the charter to county commissioners within 12 months of appointment or date of election, if there were an election.

2) Within 30 days after presentation, commissioners publish it at least twice in one or more newspapers of circulation in county.

3) Thirty to 90 days after last date of publication, a special election must be held unless a primary or general election falls within the period.

If the charter board were committed to completingthe charter by Aug. 15, 1992, this would provide adequate time (45 days) for the commissioners to advertise prior to Sept. 30 and allow for the charter to be on the November 1992 ballot.

This schedule provides the charter board 7 1/2 months to complete the draft of the charter if there is no election of board members on March 3, and 5 1/2 months if there is an election.

We would like to hear individuallyfrom each appointed member of the Carroll County Charter Board as towhether you will make a firm commitment to complete the draft charter by Aug. 15, 1992. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

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