Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 30, 2006

Students fully grasp funding shortfall

A spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, William Reinhard, deliberately misled the public in claiming that the Baltimore students who filed a motion Tuesday in Circuit Court "don't understand the amount of money the state has been providing the Baltimore public schools" ("Students sue to seize state schools power," April 26).

The students' understanding is the same as that of Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan, which they cited in their motion.

In a 2004 order in the case of Bradford vs. Maryland State Board of Education, Judge Kaplan wrote: "The children of Baltimore City should not have to wait another three years for adequate funding, given the continued constitutional inadequacy they face. The state has unlawfully underfunded the Baltimore City school system by $439.35 million to $834.68 million, representing amounts owed under this court's final 2000 order for fiscal years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004."

The students are trying to hold the state school board accountable for its unlawful underfunding.

The state board is trying to avoid accountability.

That's pretty easy to understand.

Jay Gillen

Baltimore

The writer is the facilitator for the Baltimore Algebra Project.

Security legislation worse than `spooky'

The proposed legislation that would expand the powers of agents of the National Security Agency and the CIA is not only "spooky" but downright scary ("Congress cracking down on U.S. leaks," April 25).

Does anyone else worry about where our intelligence and security agencies are headed?

Ajax Eastman

Baltimore

Electricity rate rise is just unacceptable

In Maryland's gas and electric wars, citizens need statesmen and stateswomen to stand up for the economic interests of the average working person.

The price increases, which would almost double the cost of electricity, are unacceptable ("Numbers differ on electricity rate plan," April 27).

Why are they unacceptable?

Because these price increases would involve a ruthless expansion of profits and be the worst public relations blunder that Constellation Energy-Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. could make.

And indeed, I've yet to hear anyone say that Constellation Energy is losing money and because of that it must raise prices to stay in business.

So why the price increases? They amount to robbery.

The robber barons of 100 years ago are back with a vengeance, and the average person is getting fleeced.

Will any statesmen or stateswomen rise to defend the middle class, the poor and the working poor against this corporate behemoth, Constellation Energy-BGE?

Are there any of such integrity in the political circles of our state?

Time will tell.

Bill Curtis

Baltimore

A special session would do no good

There is only one thing a state legislature that failed to find a solution to the coming energy price increases would agree upon in special session: That their salaries, their staffs and our taxes must be raised.

Lawrence Silberman

Burtonsville

Lack of leadership led to energy woes

For all of the finger-pointing aimed at the politicians and the oil companies, it would be nice if people considered the size of their SUVs, trucks and minivans before they complained about the price of gas ("How much?" April 26).

A really effective, user-friendly national plan for mass transit should have begun during the oil crisis of the 1970s.

Also, the president and Congress (past and present) could have been, and should have been, demanding that car companies boost the energy efficiency of their vehicles.

Where is, or has been, the vision and leadership for weaning this country off oil and moving us toward alternative energy sources for the past 35 years?

Steve Janofsky

Pikesville

Cramping the rights of faithful Christians

The first sentence of The Sun's article "Christians attack tolerance policies" (April 23) reads, "Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant."

Rarely have I read, even in The Sun, a more liberally biased, anti-religious article than this one.

Ms. Malhotra is a Christian who is challenging a ban on speech that "puts down others because of sexual orientation" at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

But the entire thrust of the article is that Christians are intolerant bigots who hate homosexuals and want to say evil things about them.

A significantly more neutral article would have stated that Ms. Malhotra is challenging a ban on free speech, under which the state, as represented by a public college, is inhibiting her free exercise of religion.

It seems that the press is always in favor of freedom of speech except when it is exercised by Christians, and in favor of the separation of church and state unless the state can be used to promote an anti-religious agenda.

The article states that there is "a growing campaign to force public schools ... to eliminate policies protecting homosexuals from harassment."

However, Ms. Malhotra is accused of speaking out against homosexuality, not of harassing homosexuals.

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