Investing in kids will bring rewards for years to come
Improving the quality of the care and early education we provide for Maryland's young children is, in every sense, an investment in our state's future. The Sun's insightful editorial on this topic could not have appeared at a better time ("Educating the governor," Dec. 11).
Two days after the editorial, Sen. Barbara Hoffman, Sen. Martin Madden, Del. Mark Shriver, children's advocate (and former actor) Rob Reiner and others called upon the governor to fund carefully chosen initiatives for young children.
These include an increase in funding for quality preschool centers, creation of a credential system for child-care workers, and a phase-in of all-day kindergarten.
Later the same week, The Sun reported the state will have a $375 million surplus in the coming budget year and quoted the governor saying, "This is one of the strongest economies in the country" ("State excess funds likely," Dec. 15).
Investing in young children now -- giving them the tools to thrive and succeed -- will pay dividends even in lean years. Economics aside, it's the right thing to do.
Sandra J. Skolnik
The writer is executive director of the Maryland Committee for Children.
The Sun's editorial "Educating the governor" (Dec. 11) went right to the point of Smart Growth. Maryland needs more investment in its youngest citizens if it wants to lead the country in years to come.
It needs more state investment in a statewide child-care credentialing program, in early childhood service centers, in expanding public preschool programs, improving the quality of child care and early education for all and phasing in all-day kindergarten for those who want it.
Research has shown such investments produce dividends for years to come, through a lower crime rate, less dependence on welfare, better school performance and a more productive work force.
The writer is public policy chairman of the Maryland Association for the Education of Young Children.
State must crack down on violent offenders
For an instant, I thought I was reading a newspaper other than The Sun.
The editorial "Violent crime pays in a city of soft sentences" (Dec. 18) was unusually reasonable. There was no call for tax dollars to rehabilitate poor, downtrodden offenders.
It's about time The Sun recognized that strict sentencing and tough punishment are the best way to reduce crime. We don't need to coddle convicted prisoners. We need to make prison unpleasant.
Thank you for putting the blame where it belongs -- on our preoccupied governor and lieutenant governor.
The Sun's half-page take on what is wrong with incarceration of criminals in and around Baltimore was exactly right ("Violent crime pays in a city of soft sentences," editorial, Dec. 18).
The system is old and worn out and needs to be replaced. The state surely is putting savings above public safety.
We are a nation of laws. Now we just need to enforce those laws with respect to crime and criminals.
Franklin W. Littleton
Black voters know what they are doing
I am insulted and appalled that so many people, including Sun columnist Gregory Kane, feel it necessary to question the logic behind the "black vote" ("Some Supreme Court critics in need of a history lesson," Dec. 16).
They assume we black voters simply "follow the leader" and don't think for ourselves. I know of no other group so degraded when a large number of its members support a certain candidate or policy.
I, along with many people I know, generally support the Democratic Party -- and we know what we are doing.
Supreme Court's ruling sustains federalism
Jamin B. Raskin is either woefully misinformed or intentionally misinforming The Sun's readership ("Here's hoping that it will not happen again," Opinion
Commentary Dec. 19).
He claims the U.S. Supreme Court's Dec. 12 ruling in favor of the Bush campaign was a 5-4 decision. He ignores the fact that a 7-2 majority found the Florida Supreme Court's ruling unconstitutional.
He also states that this ruling usurps the role of Congress and the Florida courts, when, in fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturns the Florida court's usurpation of the state Legislature's constitutionally mandated authority.
Using a strict reading of the Constitution to overturn a state court's activist and unconstitutional expansion of its power is not a violation of federalism; it is the embodiment of it.
Success remains a miracle in city's zoned high schools
It is not surprising that the throw-away education warehouses known as zoned high schools have problems, as The Sun's article "A last weak link in chain of failure" (Dec. 18) noted.
The victims, concerned teachers and neglected students, overcome obstacles in their quest for learning; the miracle is that anyone succeeds.
New technologies help disabled students learn