Speak Out!

June 22, 2005

THE ISSUE: Last week, state education officials stated that schools serving Annapolis children would not receive a $558,000 challenge grant. County school officials credit it with helping improve performance at nine elementary schools, six of which have high populations of low-income pupils.

It's the second time Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. tried to kill the program in its final funding year - he removed it from his original budget proposal. The General Assembly returned it in its spending plan, but the governor controls whether it's paid out.

Ehrlich representatives said the governor has increased financial support for education overall, particularly in Anne Arundel County. But critics say the governor is playing "political football" with a pet project of House Speaker Michael E. Busch because the two have often grappled over whether to use money from slots to fund education.

YOUR VIEW: Should state officials reinstate the grant? Tell us what you think at rundel.speakout@baltsun.com by tomorrow.

Please keep your response short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published Sunday.

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