Help City Schools
Editor: On Dec. 13, Gelareh Asayesh reported that the city could be on ''a collision course with the State Board of Education'' if the city schools closed for a week to help meet a budget shortfall.
Avoid the collision course! The state needs to help the city schools to meet this money shortage. The city needs to help the state by improving its schools.
Please, help each other in this monetary crisis.
At the risk of proposing a possible solution which the city and the state may have already considered, I still am compelled to write. Obviously, there is a dire need to resolve this problem amicably.
If agreement cannot be reached on a five-day closing, consider the following: Allow the city to close schools for 10 half-days instead of the five full days.
The state board could take comfort that the 180-day school calendar had been maintained. The city could still meet its reduction of salary expenditures.
The state can use the same rule it has used for years when schools close a half-day because of snow or icy road conditions. In the past those shortened days have never been deducted from the 180 days in the school calendar.
Unfortunately, in this proposal the teachers once again would be asked to make a sacrifice -- report to work for 10 half-days at half-pay. However, this is doable and seems preferable when compared with having the city lose even more state aid through lack of a 180-day waiver.
The city can minimize the loss of programs in the high schools and middle schools by teaching on the half-days the four major subjects -- math, English, science, and social studies -- or appropriate vocational subjects. In the elementary schools on the half-days, the teaching of reading, arithmetic and social studies or science can minimize loss.
At all levels, the lack of full days of instruction during this short period of time will be infinitesimal.
We don't need a collision course on this issue. What we do need is a reasonable and cooperative approach.
M. Thomas Goedeke.
The writer is retired superintendent of Howard County schools.
Editor: In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America. Nearly 500 years later, the Democratic Party has discovered the ''middle class.''
Now we are really in trouble!
C. Bucky Muth.
Editor: I applaud the state for offering the Maryland Relay Service to our residents with hearing and speech impairments.
The monthly fee that we all pay -- 45 cents -- is slightly higher than the cost of one phone call made from a pay phone. This fee will be reduced to 31 cents in January.
We who take the use of the phone for granted should remember the day this past summer when the phones were out of service.
The feelings of frustration and helplessness that we hearing individuals had on that one day have been felt for years by individuals with communication disabilities. Until this relay service was offered, speech and hearing-impaired residents of Maryland were unable to make a phone call for the simplest or the gravest of reasons.
I am proud to live in a state that is a leader in this service.
Eloise Furiga Brown.