Out of stepSo, we now have Bill and Hillary clones on the...

the Forum

November 28, 1994

Out of step

So, we now have Bill and Hillary clones on the way to Maryland's State House. What a sad state of affairs.

Perhaps it is not Ellen Sauerbrey who is out of step. Perhaps Maryland is out of step with the nation.

I find it very telling that Parris Glendening won his own home county by a smaller margin than Baltimore City.

I only hope the newly elected delegates from both parties read his non-mandate clearly, and will hold this old-school, tax and spend liberal in check.

Deborah Keyser


SSA buyout

The Social Security Administration is about to give away $25,000 buyout bonuses to 1,500 of its top managers to entice them to retire. This money, amounting to over $37 million, will come from the social security trust fund.

That fund was established by Congress for the payment of benefits and for normal day-to-day operating expenses of the Social Security Administration.

These gift retirement bonuses are clearly illegal because they are beyond the purpose for which Congress authorized the trust fund.

Many financial experts believe that taxes will have to be increased or benefits reduced in order for the trust fund to remain solvent for future benefit payments.

Social Security Commissioner Shirley S. Chater is being renominated for her job as commissioner by President Clinton because he believes she is the best person for protecting the Social Security system ("Chater to be first 'independent' Social Security commissioner," Nov. 16).

Perhaps she can explain to Congress and the public the reason for this very generous giveaway of trust fund money to her bureaucrats.

!William J. Ziegler Sr.

Ellicott City

Willing fans

Gee, I never thought it would happen. The Orioles raised their ticket prices for the 1995 season. Oh dear, oh dear, what is a fan to do?

I have a pretty good idea that the spineless fans will just keep paying the higher prices. You see, this is what the major league baseball owners are counting on.

They know the fans have no backbone and that they will continue to flock to the games like blind sheep. They will continue to buy their tickets, over-priced food and souvenirs.

One local radio sports talk show host has been whining about the ticket price increase for the last month.

Well, he should shut up and stop whining. I honestly do not believe that anyone is holding a gun to his head to purchase a ticket. Please tell me if I am wrong on that.

The real problem is that if he gives up his season ticket behind home plate, 50 other saps will be lined up to take his seat.

I believe the Orioles could double their ticket prices and the spineless morons known as baseball fans still would fill the stadium.

Brian J. Spector


Is Dr. Amprey afraid of real school reform?

In a recent news article School Superintendent Walter Amprey described his efforts to privatize the Baltimore City public school system as "revolutionary."

But why the superintendent should so describe the modest effort to turn a few public schools over to Educational Alternatives Inc. is puzzling.

In reality, the city school system is just as reactionary now as it was prior to the entry of EAI into the debate over what should be done in our schools.

The continued opposition to the "Amprey experiment" by significant numbers of parents and teachers may be based on the fact that despite the rhetoric of "revolution," nothing has changed for most of Baltimore's children.

Most children have not been touched by EAI. The parents of these children are wondering why, if privatization is such a good thing, all the schools haven't been turned over to EAI.

In these parents' minds there can be only one reason why Dr. Amprey, the self-styled "revolutionary," does not advocate EAI control the entire school system: It is because he has his own doubts about privatization.

Dr. Amprey may well be aware that the reason for the limited opposition to this experiment is that it has had limited exposure to the public.

The greater the public exposure to this experiment, the more likely the risk that increasing numbers of parents and teachers will reject it.

This is why parents of students in the school system have been exposed to the "revolution" in piecemeal fashion.

If Dr. Amprey really wanted privatization of the city public Schools, why didn't he open up the process for real competition? This could have been done by establishing a voucher system for everyone who has a child in the school system.

Each school PTA could establish a committee to purchase from private or public sources the educational services that would best serve its students. Each school could then advertise its services to the public, and parents could spend their vouchers where they saw fit.

As long as there was improvement in the academic achievement of the students, the school board would adopt a hands-off attitude to any given school.

If for some reason the students of a particular school began to lag behind, then the school board would be free to step in and take over.

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