Board's oversight and accountability inadequate School...


May 28, 2000

Board's oversight and accountability inadequate

School Board President C. Scott Stone has finally said something we can all agree on ("Clarifying the way the school board does its work," letters May 14). His words are great in theory but lacking in reality.

Mr. Stone's comments come too late considering the continuing and pervasive problems burdening the taxpaying residents of Carroll County.

And his patronizing tone toward the people of Carroll County reinforces the perception that the school board still works in a vacuum.

Our problems arise from the lack of representation, leadership and vision on a commissioner level. This will be addressed in the near future.

This school board also still lacks the responsibility to objectively and honestly fulfill their duty to act as servants of every Carroll County resident, and not to pander to specialinterests.

We all realize that the county has grown about four-fold in the last 15 years or so.

In a smaller community, we held conversations more informally over lunch, on the golf course, a ski trip or a phone call and the scope of the work was different.

With the increase in population we are experiencing, this can no longer happen. Oversight, accountability and objectivity are now the order of the day.

Personal relationships, friendships and nepotism have no place in the distribution, budgeting and oversight of our tax dollars.

The arrogance of this board in ignoring the Bennett report and refusing to talk openly about the report in a public forum is inexcusable.

The continued neglect of problems and lack of oversight has and will continue to damage the future of quality education in Carroll County. We will also see an increase in property taxes to pay our way out of this pit.

Frankly we cannot continue to allow this to happen. Our children's future is far more important then the self-preservation of this administration and board.

The Group for Accountability in Government and Industry will continue to seek the removal of school board members Hyde, Smith, Stone and Bauer.

They will not continue with this business as usual.

Marcel J. van Rossum


The writer is co-chair of the Group for Accountability in Government and Industry.

County's schools show kids what they miss

An inner-city first-grader doesn't know about the inequality in education until she visits a public school system like the one in Carroll County and sees what excellent schools are all about.

Then she learns how unequal the separate public school systems are and begins to long to be bused to those excellent public school systems, no matter how long and tiring the bus rides may be.

She then thinks that, as an American child, it's her constitutional right to have an education opportunity that is as excellent as the one the the girls and boys have in Carroll County.

But she doesn't know yet how to tell anyone, most of all those who are in charge of educating Maryland's children.

John D. Witiak

Union Bridge

Stay-at-home moms earn their rewards

The Sun's recent letter criticizing the proposed Social Security increase for non-working mothers was highly offensive to me and to all mothers who have chosen to stay at home to raise their own children ("Don't award workers' funds to stay-at-home mothers," letters, May 18).

The author owes us all a resounding apology because she has made several assumptions which simply are not true.

She assumes that a working mom is one who is gainfully employed. Whether they are employed or not, women who raise their children work around the clock. This is a no-brainer.

She also states that "any woman with children who does not have to work has sufficient means."

What is her definition of "sufficient means"?

I know women personally who have been willing to live at a socio-economic level that is hardly sufficient in society's eyes in order to stay at home to raise their children.

The writer declares she "will not pay for such women to stay home and watch soap operas."

Such women? Soap operas? Let's not even go there.

The ire of stay-at-home moms would be too much to handle.

Finally the writer suggests that only those "who worked and in some way contributed to the Social Security system should be entitled to reap the benefits."

The stay-at-home moms in this country don't want or need the author's hard-earned money, now or ever; we already have our rewards.

The author was brave enough enough to put into words the very attitude that remains in the back of the minds of many citizens, however demeaning and flawed it may be.

But let one truth remain: The citizens of this country reap the benefits every day from mothers who sacrifice to stay at home to raise their children, benefits too numerous to explain in this small space.

Barbara Covington


A fascinating glimpse into a family's past

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