Reimer echoes parents' concerns on public schools While...


April 08, 2001

Reimer echoes parents' concerns on public schools

While reading Susan Reimer's column "Tax rebate not part of kids going to private school" (April 3), I could almost hear the "hallelujah chorus" swelling in the background. Ms. Reimer is just echoing the voices of the public school parents I know.

We were all outraged over the spending of millions last year on private school textbooks. And I read recently that Gov. Parris N. Glendening is giving them $5 million more this year -- absolutely amazing ("Governor's priorities preserved," April 2).

My oldest child attends a public middle school just a few miles down the road from the governor's mansion. At a recent PTSO meeting, I found out that the history textbook that she will be using next year for seventh-grade was purchased in 1981.

We briefly discussed what it would take to purchase just 40 new textbooks for her seventh-grade social studies class (at a cost of approximately $75 each). By purchasing just 40 books, the teacher could provide a book for the student to use during class, but the books would need to remain at school and could not be taken home.

At an approximate cost of $3,000, I don't see that happening.

Then, to add insult to injury, I read the column in the Anne Arundel section of The Sun about the challenge grants that will be provided to the 12 schools in the Annapolis feeder system ("Annapolis' 12 schools expect to receive $1 million from state for challenge grants," April 3).

Mr. Glendening is offering $1 million to be divided between 12 schools. The article noted that to receive funds "the schools would have to complete grant applications showing how they would use it, what research they are basing their request on and what measurable goals they hope to achieve."

Did private schools have to do the same thing to receive textbook money?

My kids started their education in private school, but we have existed happily in the public schools for the last five years.

There are times when I think it would be easier to pull the middle-schooler out and send her to private school. But I agree with Ms. Reimer's comments about needing the kinds of kids and parents who are currently in private schools in our public schools.

If we were working together, I can imagine how great our local school system could be.

Lisa Cumberpatch


A private school parent set straight by Reimer

I thought I decided to enroll my children in Catholic school to see them grow in body, mind, and spirit; to increase their opportunities to receive the sacraments; and to serve the poor, the needy and the alienated.

It's a good thing Susan Reimer has set me straight. Apparently, I send them there because I am a racist ("Earmark tax dollars for public school needs," March 27).

I guess that also explains why I have been a Catholic school teacher for the past two decades. I'll have to let the other faculty members know.

To think that all this time we thought we shared a commitment to Catholic education and a vocation to teach.

Teresa Wilkins


Schools need help with air-conditioning

My thanks to Stephanie Desmon and The Sun for bringing attention to the challenges parents face getting air conditioning at Arundel High and Arundel Middle schools, ("Parents raise funds to help cool schools," April 1). It's hard to believe in this day and age that anyone could survive without air conditioning, especially in a place that houses more than 1,200 children for seven hours a day or more.

I am working with the middle school and would like to encourage readers to help. Individuals and businesses can help by either donating money to purchase window units (one 32,500 BTU unit costs approximately $1,000) or time from an electrician or other professional to help wire the rooms in the middle school.

Shelley Buckingham


High time county built another high school

A 13th Anne Arundel County High School is undeniably and immediately needed.

The benefits this school would provide are numerous, including relieving overcrowding in feeder systems, enabling education in adequate facilities and allowing seats for students in the new homes being built in and around Crofton. The board of education has owned the plot of land adjacent to Crofton Middle School, the only suitable location for this school, for 25 years. How this matter can still be under consideration and not a reality is nearly beyond comprehension.

Laurie High Dave High GambrillsParking spaces are no measure of dignity

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