Senator Jacobs wrong to criticize Alonso

May 18, 2011

I was stunned by the letter (May 17) from State Sen. Nancy Jacobs criticizing the hiring of additional executive directors by Baltimore City Schools CEO Andrés Alonso, saying that, in doing so, "he slaps the face of Maryland taxpayers." Based on the questions she raises in her letter, the senator has either not taken the time to inform herself of the facts or she has simply chosen to ignore them.

First, as stated in The Sun article on the subject, there was never any possibility the $1.75 million it will cost to fund the 15 executive director positions could have gone directly to the classroom instead. Second, Mr. Alonso is simultaneously eliminating 89 currently filled jobs in the central office that will save $3.6 million next year for a net reduction in costs of $1.85 million. Finally, Mr. Alonso has clearly stated that the new executive directors are being hired to provide much-needed guidance and support for the 200 elementary, middle and high school principals as they take on their new greatly expanded responsibilities.

It seems to me that a state senator should provide informed, statesman-like leadership for her constituents, not rile them up with knee-jerk rabble-rousing.

Dan Tracy, Baltimore

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