The Worst Time for School VouchersAs a parent of two...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 13, 1994

The Worst Time for School Vouchers

As a parent of two children enrolled in the Montessori School of Westminster, and as the architect for the most recent building additions to Carroll Christian Schools and St. John's Catholic Church, I might be counted on to support the idea of vouchers for private schools.

I must admit that any proposal that would help private schools increase their need to expand while reducing my own tax burden has a lot of personal appeal. But there is one aspect of vouchers that trouble me.

Private schools offer some people a worthwhile alternative to the public school system. But most private schools (though not all, as the examples cited above suggest) are affiliated with a religious institution, and some of the curricula are devoted to religious education.

In keeping with the First Amendment's separation between church and state, I do not believe it is the responsibility of the taxpayers to subsidize any religion.

I am also an architect for public schools, and thus have first-hand experience with the budget constraints faced by the school system.

Over the past decade, the state's share in funding the typical school construction project has steadily decreased due to changing guidelines imposed by the Board of Public Works.

I am concerned that if the proposed voucher program is enacted, the state's participation in school funding will dwindle to a negligible level. At a time when hundreds of children are being taught in trailers, this is the wrong time to talk about restricting funds to build and run public schools.

Therefore, I believe the government has a duty not to sponsor -- even indirectly through a voucher program -- private schools at the expense of the public school system.

Dean R. Camlin

Westminster

Sun, Go Fish

Lies, damned lies and editorials. The piece of fiction printed on the Sun's editorial page Oct. 28, titled "Jerry Barnes' Fishing Expedition," shows that you will follow no rules in supporting your chosen candidate.

Darren Allen, competent journalist writing for your paper, accurately reported the decision of U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz in the dismissal of Jeff Griffith vs. W. Samuel Truette, et al.

A couple of days later, the editorial staff decides to blast Jerry Barnes, who is a candidate for state's attorney for Carroll County and an opponent of their "anointed one."

The fact that Mr. Barnes was not a party in the case, was not a member of the drug task force investigation and at the time was running against the leader of the office controlling the investigation, did not enter into the editorial.

The only truth in the editorial was that Judge Motz dismissed the case.

Perhaps it is too much to ask The Sun to be honest. The least the editors can do is read the stories in their own paper.

Stephan A. Timchula

Finksburg

What Carroll Life Is

This is a letter written to respond to Mr. Schwaab's misunderstanding of the organization Carroll Life. Carroll Life has been involved in a constructive dialogue with the State Highway Administration to achieve an alternative to building a bypass.

The plan which Carroll Life has presented eliminates all traffic lights from existing Route 140, allowing the free flow of traffic. It also provides for the free flow of traffic back and forth across the existing Route 140. This alternative will . . . save the state many million dollars in transportation funds.

I also take issue that any infrastructure is added to the county by building a Route 140 bypass. Access to the Westminster area is determined by the size and number of roads coming into the area. Since the 140 bypass is a local road, no actual infrastructure is added to the county by building it. Building another large corridor into the county like an extension of Route 795 would add infrastructure.

I don't know Mr. Schwaab's position on extending Route 795 but I would firmly oppose extending Route 795 into Carroll County as I feel this would have a very negative impact on the quality of life in Carroll County.

Enough roads have already been built in this state and the cost of maintaining existing roads is staggering. When additional roads are built, increased taxes will be required to pay for them. Before we build additional roads we need to make sure that we are getting everything that we can get out of the existing highways by upgrading them.

@4 Why destroy the only land that God has given us?

John G. Hurt

Westminster

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