Reimer was right about the priority of public schools...


April 11, 2001

Reimer was right about the priority of public schools

Kudos to Susan Reimer for her columns criticizing Maryland for buying textbooks for nonpublic schools ("Earmark tax dollars for public school needs," March 27 and "Tax rebate not part of kids going to private school," April 3).

Our public schools need so many things (computers, library books and basic supplies such as paper and pencils).

Provide our public schools with everything needed to ensure our children have every educational advantage. Our children deserve it and our future depends on it. Then, and only then, consider subsidizing private schools.

Marcy Silver


Bravo to Susan Reimer for her thoughtful response to critics of her position against public support of private schools ("Tax rebate not part of kids going to private school," April 3).

I have no children, but I'm happy to support the public education of those who will run the country in the future.

I also am deeply offended that my tax money will go, in many instances, toward conservative religious indoctrination that differs completely from my liberal beliefs. That's what I call unfair.

James R. Moody


You can bet Susan Reimer's column "Tax rebate not part of kids going to private school" (April 3) was applauded by many public school moms. I was having a bad morning when I picked it up with my morning coffee and [the column] perked me right up.

Most, if not all, private school parents want their children in a protected, homogeneous environment. It may not be out-and-out racism, but it is certainly class warfare. They can dress it up however they want, but they do not want their child going to school with "undesirables."

I understand how they feel. It's part of why my husband and I moved to a well-to-do, top school district in Ellicott City.

I'm just honest enough to admit it.

Deborah Blair

Ellicott City

Some parents seek to avoid the poor and disadvantaged

I was amused at the self-righteous indignation of those offended by Susan Reimer's column "Earmark tax dollars for public school needs" (March 27) ("Racism isn't reason many parents choose private schools," letters, April 3).

It isn't just the poor that private school parents try to avoid. It is also the severely physically and mentally challenged, the discipline problems, social misfits and other "undesirables" the public schools cannot turn away.

I have no problem with public money going to private schools -- as soon as they are required to accept all who apply and provide these individuals the best education they can, as the public schools must.

Robert West

Ellicott City

I was appalled at the arrogant responses to Susan Reimer's column. For the most part, the authors skirted the issue that some parents do select private schools to keep their children away from members of other races.

And, as a student-teacher for a public school system, I have seen firsthand how some of their money is spent.

Many of my classes have only 18 to 20 children. And public schools have greater expenditures because they offer more electives in art, music and foreign languages, subjects some private schools deem unnecessary. Public schools also face legally mandated expenditures for students with special needs.

Ms. Reimer should never have to apologize for her opinions; that's a little thing we teach in public schools called "freedom of speech."

Heather Jennings


Strong values, not racism, make private school desirable

My choice to send my child to a parochial school is not a "pointed rejection" of the public schools, as Susan Reimer suggested in her column "Tax rebate not part of kids going to private school" (April 3).

Rather, it is a choice to send my child to a school where his education can be augmented by making his faith a part of his daily life. I believe public schools do provide a valuable education and that it is my civic responsibility to support them, even though I send my child elsewhere.

I also believe that the proposed subsidy for private school textbooks is not a "tax rebate" for unused services, but a chance for my child to share in the educational resources the state government provides for all our children.

David P. Resetar

Ellicott City

Susan Reimer's claim that families send their children to private school because they reject public schools is deplorable. Has she ever heard of something called religion, or morality, or values?

I cannot speak for all schools, but I know Catholic schools base their curriculum around instilling good, sound, religious values in children, which do not include racism or prejudice.

Catholic schools begin and end each day with prayer. They have dedicated parents who value moral foundations. They have dedicated teachers who earn less on average than public school teachers.

Catholic schools have maintained a presence in Baltimore City at a time when many of their students are not Catholic. And, finally, Catholic schools have allowed God in the classroom.

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