Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 03, 2004

City's teachers have already given enough

Baltimore's teachers continue to stand strong in defense of our contract and our rights, and the parents and students support us. Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg is right to argue that violating our contracts (and "renegotiating" means violating) is one of the "deal-breakers" ("Major hurdles remain in city schools talks," March 1).

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is free to demand that the teachers make concessions; the citizens of this state are free to condemn his arrogance.

Why, exactly, do we who teach every day have to make concessions? The problem was not created by the teachers, but by the state and the school board. Before this crisis began, we accepted a contract without a raise. We continue to buy necessary supplies the schools do not provide for our students. We, the teachers, bail out the system every day.

The teachers need not and will not make any more concessions.

Alan Rebar

Baltimore

The writer is a teacher at Highlandtown Elementary School.

Let the governor save city schools

Amazing. Simply amazing. But not surprising. For years the governor, mayor, City Council, school board and even the unions did absolutely nothing while the financial crisis in the city school system mounted. Finally, an honorable man comes along who wants to help the school system and the children of Baltimore; Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. proposes solutions while the so-called leaders and representatives of Baltimore cry and whine and claim they know what is best for the "children" ("Major hurdles remain in city schools talks," March 1).

They've already demonstrated how they take care of the children. It's time for those in the city to realize that city children are residents of Maryland, not just the city.

It's time for those in the city to put aside their politics and rhetoric and allow the governor, who does care about all the citizens of Maryland, to do what the city has failed to do.

Wayne Stansfield

Middle River

Dedicated educators didn't cause the mess

As a citizen of Baltimore and the parent of school-aged children, I am appalled at the lack of priority for education that the governor is showing to the students of Baltimore.

There has been a grave fumble at the top administrative levels in the city school system, to be sure, but asking the teachers and local administrators to make any sacrifice to remedy this situation is unacceptable ("Ehrlich measure would create powerful city school authority," March 2).

This year, my husband and I transferred our third-grade son and first-grade daughter from a private, religious school to our local public school. We did this because we wanted to feel more a part of our Mount Washington community. To our delight, both of our children have had an excellent experience. They have truly wonderful teachers and a caring, dynamic principal.

I see the dedication of the teachers and school administrators each day, and have the utmost respect for all they do.

Why should these caring, hard-working individuals who have our children's best interest in mind be asked to bear the consequences of a problem for which they were not responsible?

Stephanie Strauss Regenold

Baltimore

Mayor and governor must work together

As if the $58 million city school system deficit wasn't a bad enough situation, I find it inexcusable that Mayor Martin O'Malley and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. are acting like schoolchildren with their antagonistic behavior. It is time for them to grow up and act like adults ("Major hurdles remain in city schools talks," March 1).

Until they start acting like responsible leaders, I see nothing to prove either of them are worthy of their positions.

Janet Thomson

Baltimore

Raise new revenue to pay for schools

Hasn't anyone thought of the old-fashioned way to remedy the shortage of funds in the operation of the Baltimore school system? Cut spending on other budgetary items, if feasible, or increase taxes so that revenues are adequate to support public education by the city, in the city.

Eugene P. Smith

Baltimore

Washington borrows much more each day

The Baltimore school system needs to borrow about $58 million, and we're demanding accountability.

The federal government borrows this much money every hour of every day, and nobody seems to care.

Douglas G. Hicks

Towson

Turn city schools over to the church?

I am public-school-educated, anti-voucher, fiercely secular and generally opposed to any effort to privatize our schools.

And yet I am a Baltimore taxpayer whose dollars and chosen home are heavily invested in our children's future. Baltimore's public schools, as we know them, are irredeemably broken: with a crumbling infrastructure, disheartened educators, a naive or culpable school board, administrative chaos and wildly inconsistent learning environments ("Major hurdles remain in city schools talks," March 1).

And now, in a stroke of unfortunate timing, the city schools are providing a political object lesson with which the governor may extract the slot machines he desires.

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