Turf fields a misplaced priority, a policy about-face

Letter to the editor

October 19, 2011

The Howard County Public School System has recently received approval from the Maryland Board of Public Works to use $2 million from the recently enacted alcohol tax for turf fields at two area high schools. At the BPW hearing earlier this month, Comptroller Peter Franchot questioned whether turf fields are the most pressing school construction need in Howard County.

While I understand the desire for the fields, I must agree with the comptroller. I do not see how turf fields are more important than fixing roofs and improving classrooms.

The decision to go forward with turf fields at two of the 12 high schools also brings to question the school system's equity policy. Previously, when there was an effort to install football field lights, the school system rejected the proposal until there was funding to install lights in all high schools. Recently, the Mt. Hebron community requested a turf field when their renovation was approved. They were advised that they could not get the field because of the equity policy.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the Board of Education will be discussing this issue at their evening session. They are not holding a public hearing. Therefore, this will be the only opportunity for citizens to express their opinions to the Board by attending the meeting. I hope to see many of you there.

Sen. Allan H. Kittleman

West Friendship

Allan Kittleman is a state senator from District 9, representing Howard and Carroll counties.

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