Children would suffer from cutsWe were gratified with your...

LETTERS

November 13, 1996

Children would suffer from cuts

We were gratified with your Nov. 9 editorial opposing attempts to undermine the maintenance of effort provision in the law providing state aid to education.

As you correctly point out, the maintenance of effort provision has a simple premise: County governments must spend as much local money on a child's education as they did the year before to qualify for state aid.

It is a simple principle. But it is also the very foundation of state aid to education, which is intended to supplement -- not replace -- local funding.

In the effort to bolster and to equalize, at least in part, school funding throughout Maryland, the state has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in education aid to local subdivisions over the years. Under current law, it will continue to do so.

The state, however, needs to do much more. Thus, were local governments allowed to diminish their financial responsibilities, gaining the necessary additional support of the legislature for schools would be virtually impossible.

After all, the General Assembly is not likely to be as supportive of the state aid program as it has been in the past if it becomes simply a means of shifting education funding from local governments to the state.

Any further effort to erode local governments' maintenance of effort responsibilities either by regulation or legislation must be resisted.

As always, the ultimate victims of such short-sighted political maneuvering would be the children and their education.

Karl Kirby Pence

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Maryland State Teachers Association.

Generosity breeds sloth

I'd like to respond to Denise Barker concerning definitions of "liberal" and "conservative."

I believe a "generous" and "open-handed" attitude has created a nation of "why should I work for a living when the government will support me?" I have no problem helping the truly needy: I give generously to the United Way, do volunteer work through my church and my place of employment.

I draw the line, though, on those who show no desire to help themselves and are content to sit around and blame past injustices for their lot in life.

If we did, indeed, become "stingy, cheapskate, penny-pinching, hard-hearted and Scroogelike," then maybe the people who really need the help could get it.

Donna P. Evanston

Baltimore

Post-election blues for the duration

Well, another election has come and gone. Good for us in the short run, possibly bad in the long.

I see the American people disappointed and short-changed once again for the next four years.

As I ponder what this election means to me as a ordinary citizen, I ask:

Will anything get done, other than 30-second sound bites on the news circuit, talking about ''-gates'' that need to be investigated either by congressional committee or independent prosecutor?

Will anything get done, when talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Ron Smith, Mary Matalin and G. Gordon Liddy doggedly spew more invectives via the airwaves than the print media could ever hope to?

Will anything get done, with conservative Republicans still believing in that Contract with America, hell-bent on making life rough for the opposition, and more specifically for Bill Clinton?

Will anything get done to fix Medicare, Social Security, education, the budget deficit, job stability, crime, drugs, preservation of the environment or social equality?

The tragedy of it all is that we may get nothing done.

Sharon McBride

Baltimore

Self-interest guides voting

To some, the act of voting is based on ivory tower principles, but for me it's down-to-earth practicalities.

When I lived in the city's Fourth Councilmanic District, our neighborhood association invited one of our representatives to a meeting where we voiced some concerns. During the course of the meeting, she proceeded to inform us that according to computer print-outs our area, with few exceptions, did not vote and that if we wanted her help, we ought to help her with votes.

Though outraged at her insensitivity and, in the presence of seniors, her lack of respect, I, nevertheless, learned from that experience.

As a result, my primary vote on election day was not for Bill or Bob but for Ben, who helped my daughter when her medical assistance card was canceled without rhyme or reason. The office that rightfully restored it was Ben Cardin's.

Selfish? Cynical? Pessimistic? Realistic? Take your pick. But as for me, Ben Cardin scratched my ailing daughter's back and I'll scratch his.

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Police officers work because they're dedicated

The comments of Gary McLhinney, president of Baltimore City Lodge No. 3 of the Fraternal Order of Police, that citizens should feel lucky that officers ''even show up for work'' (Nov. 8, "Police union may file complaint over arrest goals") does not reflect the attitude of the vast majority of our officers. In fact, many undoubtedly find the comment offensive.

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