Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 20, 2004

End of program deals big blow to Md. schools

Thanks to the failure of the legislature to address problems of implementation of Maryland's retire-rehire policy in a timely manner, Maryland's education crisis has taken yet another ugly turn. Hundreds of teachers and administrators, the best of the best, will be leaving our schools at the end of this school year because they no longer can be paid ("Maryland's use of retired teachers nears an end," April 14).

The inaction by the legislature will have a devastating impact on schools in Maryland. We work in a school that has made enormous strides, both measurable and immeasurable, in the past decade. This progress is largely the result of the leadership and dedication of administrators and teachers who chose to return to a needy school after dedicating their lives to education.

The presence of these knowledgeable and experienced people has undoubtedly made an enormous difference in the success of our school.

Politicians across Maryland consistently give lip service to their dedication to education; it is time to see some action that supports their rhetoric.

Cheryl Lambert

Mary Brock

Essex

The writers are teachers at Kenwood High School.

Thanks to The Sun's muckraking reporting on the state's retire-rehire teaching program, Kenwood High School, a school in Essex that has made tremendous strides under the leadership of its rehired-retired principal, Diane Goldian, not only will lose Ms. Goldian, but also will likely lose its mentor teachers as well as science and history teachers.

In my book, targeting education programs that help challenged communities is a social evil. The Sun has done a tremendous disservice to the children of Maryland with its misguided reporting.

It is a shame that the General Assembly felt it had to bow to The Sun's agenda.

Cathy Brennan

Baltimore

Ousting rehirees will hurt students

When The Sun was busy bashing the retire-rehire teaching program, it should have taken the time to have gotten all the facts. Now, as The Sun has reported, as many as 1,000 experienced teachers and administrators are about to lose their jobs ("Maryland's use of retired teachers nears an end," April 14).

The students and less-experienced teachers will be those who suffer as the expertise of those veterans will no longer be available. Those who had been rehired did not choose to do so strictly because of the money; they are dedicated educators who truly care about the students.

Those politicians we elected were unable to make a decision on the program. Come this November, we voters should remember those who are so indecisive.

Ann Cymek

Bel Air

Localities get blame for added tax burden

The Sun was right on point in its editorial "Accounting tricks" (April 13). Local governments bear the brunt of the blame from citizens for raising taxes.

Often, though, this is misplaced blame, as counties must continue to operate essential services while facing massive funding cuts from state and federal government. The "shift and shaft" game occurs not only in Maryland but all over the country.

Until the federal and state governments are honest with the American people about why their local property taxes are continually rising, local governments will continue to be unfairly blamed.

Karen M. Miller

Columbia, Mo.

The writer is president of the National Association of Counties.

Stay course in Iraq for the long haul

As Iraq spirals into a guerrilla war (regardless of what semantic spin we give events there), we continue to tout the June 30 handoff of sovereignty to an Iraqi authority.

Are we not being overly optimistic - or naive - amid this rush to nation-building?

The reality is (and this will remain the case after June 30) that the rivalries between the competing Iraqi factions (Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds) will still sunder whatever "government" we install on that date.

We cannot ensure security - or popular acceptance of the new regime - merely by putting an Iraqi face on the new ruling authority. Our "boots on the ground" still will be needed for untold years to put out the fires of rebellion.

This is not about re-electing the president. We have a war in Iraq we must win.

Iraq may yet become another Vietnam - if we allow it to do so through a lack of national resolve.

Joe Hammell

Waynesboro, Pa.

9/11 panel squabbles while al-Qaida plots

While the Republicans and Democrats are busy blaming each other for Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida continues to quietly plan its next spectacular attack on the United States.

What's wrong with this picture?

Thaddeus Paulhamus

Baltimore

Cruelty to animals leads to other abuse

Regarding the reward mentioned in the article "$3,200 reward announced in deaths of three dogs" (April 15), perhaps a clarification is needed for the writer of the letter "Reward in dog case is a waste of money" (April 19).

The reward funds did not come from the animal control budget, but from private humane groups pitching in to help animal control with the investigation.

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