School board misguided in choosing school site I am...

LETTERS

March 10, 2002

School board misguided in choosing school site

I am writing this letter due my extreme disappointment in the recent decision by Howard County's Board of Education to discontinue the evaluation of an alternate site for the 12th high school at Waverly Woods. I had hoped that by working with the Board of Education to help locate alternate sites that we could arrive at a win-win solution. The Board's decision to not consider the Waverly site for the 12th high school is clearly an uninformed and poor decision.

How can a site that is located in proximity to a technologically advanced, inactive landfill be unsafe if the Board already has an operating elementary school on top of an older-style landfill? I guess the Board has plans to close Worthington Valley Elementary. If not, I think the Board will face some truly daunting legal challenges, as this decision clearly points out that Board does not think Worthington Valley Elementary is a safe school. This decision also has ramifications upon Howard County's [park and recreation department] as they will need to consider closing Alpha Ridge Park as it, too, may be unsafe. Although my children have spent hundreds of hours playing sports at this facility, surely the Board won't let athletes from the 12th high school practice at Alpha Ridge Park in proximity to a landfill.

The Board's misguided decision to locate the 12th high school at [a] remote site on Route 99 will insure that our children are exposed to [the area's] dangerous curve when driving to/from school and to their athletic practice after school.

I have a daughter who would attend and benefit from this new high school. In addition, my property value would probably go up if the Board of Education were successful in building the school at this proposed site. I am in opposition to this location because there are real issues that have not and cannot be addressed due to the small size and remote location of this site.

Chuck T. Lacey Jr., P.E.

Marriottsville

Using private schools saves county money

According to your editorial, "All mixed up on schools" (March 1), the only children in this state who are Maryland's "own children" are the ones attending public schools. What does that make my child, and all the other children who attend non-public schools, Pennsylvania's children, Virginia's children? Or, are they just second-class children? Funds for education in this state are paid by all Maryland taxpayers, including those with children in non-public schools and those with no children in school. All Maryland taxpayers contribute, and all Maryland children should benefit.

Ironically, in the Howard County section of the same edition, The Sun reveals why our son isn't in public school: overcrowding at Pointers Run Elementary so severe that "teachers have resorted to using closets ... to accommodate children" ("Plan would shift pupils," March 1). This didn't occur because of a lack of funds. It occurred because of poor planning by an unaccountable bureaucracy.

Placing our child in a non-public school spared the County the need to cram another child into an overcrowded school, and saves the County education budget thousands of dollars every year. At a cost of $60 for textbooks, The Sun's editors should stop complaining.

Common sense tells anyone that this is a bargain.

C. Kondner

Clarksville

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