Student's AngerAs a Maryland resident attending an...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 26, 1993

Student's Anger

As a Maryland resident attending an out-of-state school, I feel I have been victimized by the unfair practices of the senatorial scholarship program.

I am angered by the apparent nonchalant attitude displayed by some of our state senators.

In the Mar. 16 article about the program, Sen. Leo E. Green said that state lawmakers "can't win for losing." Actually, I can't win for losing.

I was informed I could not claim the full amount of my state award since I had planned to attend college in Pennsylvania. However, I know of students who are in the same situation and have claimed their entire awards since their parents either know, support or work for state senators.

Senators Green and Clarence Blount blame the press for what appears to be a simple case of catching our state senators with their pants down. The senatorial scholarship program does not need to be reformed, but abolished.

Kimberly Shuron Williams

Philadelphia

Troubling Efforts

Barry Rascovar's recent defense of Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings' efforts to withhold state funds from the Baltimore public schools (March 28) was troubling.

At best, it suggested that if African-American leaders are to succeed and ascend to positions of power in this state, they must abandon any duty to improve the plight of the African-American community.

Worse, the article was a restatement of the expectation that to succeed, the leadership of the Baltimore City public schools must be better than its counterparts in the surrounding counties and able to do more with less.

With a per-student expenditure far below those in Montgomery, Prince George's and Baltimore counties, the expectation is that the Baltimore public school system should be as effective as those counties in educating students who are by far more at risk.

When that does not happen, the conclusion is the Baltimore system is not being accountable. What nonsense, even if the individual promulgating this line is African-American.

In fact, it has become fashionable for African-Americans to act as surrogates for individuals and groups who seek to work against the best interests of the African-American community, but fear being branded as racists. We see it repeatedly throughout the city and state.

Such appears to have been the case with both the proposals to withhold funds and to institute a voucher plan in the state.

Many of us know that these proposals have been advanced many times before by non-African-Americans. The truth is that African-Americans and the poor are the ones that suffer most from such plans.

Rawlings should also remember that as a member of the Baltimore City delegation he is obligated to represent the interests of the city. There is serious question of whether or not Rawlings has imperiled his future by his despicable behavior during this legislative session.

Nathan Pitts

Baltimore

'Deadbeat' Lotto?

In Laura Lippman's recent Sun article, she quotes yet another Maryland legislator as having commented that what we don't need is more spouse and child support enforcement laws; rather, we need better enforcement of existing laws.

While I agree with this to some extent in principle, in reality what we need is better laws and state support agencies trained to and interested in enforcement. While the courts and law enforcement agencies (i.e., the police) seem to be making an effort to enforce support, the weak link in enforcement continues to be Maryland's Child Support Enforcement Agency and many of the state's Bureaus of Support Enforcement. However, since better laws and CSEA/BOSE enforcement both seem impossible to achieve in this century, I have a suggestion.

My suggestion is that Maryland add to its fabulous array of legalized gambling formats a new lottery, ''Deadbeat-O.'' Proceeds from Deadbeat-O will go directly to individuals with court-ordered spousal and/or child support. To make winners feel like part of the normal support system, however, they will only be able to collect them if they have an order making them payable through BOSE.

With Deadbeat-O, we will receive our support money, and CSEA/BOSE can then do anything they like -- including nothing -- about collecting from the deadbeat ex-spouses.

Finally, since this is my idea, I expect that the $50,000 or so in back support I'm still owed be paid to me from the first profits.

Linda Gebhart

Bel Air

Minority Aid

William John Shepherd (letter, April 5) makes it appear that minority-based scholarships discriminate against non-minority students. Such need not be the case.

By simply choosing to attend a historically black school, a non-minority white student becomes, in fact, a "minority" student on that campus. Other-race grants, a form of financial aid to needy white and other "non-minority" students, were available in the 1980s when I attended Coppin State College.

At Coppin, these grants actually discriminated against black students, not whites.

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