Editor's note: With the fiscal woes facing the Carroll County Board of Education, officials have had to slice about $3.5 million from this year's $107 million budget. Some people have suggested cutting certain extracurricular activities and reducing the number of sports programs instead of slicing instructional expenses. We have been asking readers if they want school officials to cut some extracurricular activities and sports programs and leave money for academic programs intact. Here are some of their replies:
From: Melvin Jeffery
I do not think sports or extracurricular activities should be cut.
They provide an outlet and a learning opportunity.
Maybe then parents can contribute toward the cost of these activities.
Crime would increase if these activities are cut, and then wewould still pay.
From: Mrs. George Vasbinder
Yes, extracurricular activities should and must be cut.
A good education -- the three R's -- are critical to all pupils, while sportsand other activities are participated in by only a small percentage of the pupils.
From: Debra W. Kiley
Certainsports programs could be cut: 9th-grade programs; reduce cheerleaderand JV squad sizes.
Cut programs with travel -- play only county teams, no Central Maryland Conference or Monocacy Valley Athletic League games for a year or two.
Why? In the big picture, our studentsneed to know academics 20 years from now more than they need to be able to run or throw a ball in a competitive setting.
From: Leroy Colley
Close down, shut down all sports and use that money to teach the three R's.
Slice all salaries back to $20,000 a year, and grant a 3 percent raise each year.
From: Jan DiSantostefano
I do not believe that funds should becut from extracurricular activities in the educational system.
The school system not only provides learning of knowledge, but also develops social skills. Sports activities teach good sportsmanship and working with others in a team relationship.
Clubs provide a way to explore a special interest, provide community service and develop a camaraderie with fellow students. Activities such as band, newspaper and yearbook staff enable students to have hands-on experience in a particular field which they may pursue later.
All these activities supply a positive way for teen-agers to spend their free time.
TAKE PAY, NOT SUPPLIES
From: Robert C. Bruce
A great many educators favor taking furlough days to balance the budget over cutting programs which directly impact on student instructional programs.
I am one educator who would rather lose a few days pay than my school's material funds. However, I do believe that asking county employees, including teachers, to take furlough days or decreases in payis asking a single group to bear the burden for all taxpayers.
Ifwe believe taxation should be fair and equitable, then charging employees furlough days or decreasing their pay to balance the budget is a form of additional taxation.
The burden rests with all taxpayers, not just those who happen to work for the county government. I alsobelieve that if business is bad, then you need to cut back. If General Motors' cars are not selling, then they need to cut jobs or downsize their operations.
Education is booming in Carroll County. The need for all services that schools provide is expanding. Therefore, while I always see a need to look for fat in any budget, I resent the belief by some that education budgets have lots of fat.
Even thoughcuts are being made without impacting directly on basic instructional programs, we are decreasing our ability to deliver a quality program to students.
Servicing more with less is unacceptable to me as aCarroll County resident, parent, taxpayer and voter.
CITIZEN RIGHTS VIOLATED
From: Bruce K. Schrier
The Carroll County commissioners have quietly passed temporary legislation (T-80 extended by T-91) which, in the name of "public safety," severely restricts the rights of landowners in the county and further compromises theland values and options of many of our hard-hit farmers.
Among the provisions of this legislation are the following:
1. Certain (large) mineral-rich zones are defined, with no regard to terrain or property lines, which presumably overlie deposits of stone which can be quarried.
2. It is dictated that land in these zones, and within half-mile radii of these zones, cannot be subdivided or divided into off-conveyances -- even when those off-conveyances are permitted underother county law.
The legislation is devastating to landowners inthe affected areas, and it sets ominous precedents for government excursions into the rights of citizens in general.
Specifically, as it now stands, landowners within those half-mile radii will never be able to exercise their off-conveyances; therefore, the portion of their land values contributed by development potential has been totally eliminated.