City teachers sacrifice while top officials live high on the hog

August 29, 2012

I am outraged to read the article in The Sun ("City schools officials play loose with credit," Aug. 26) regarding credit card charges in the amount of $500,000 incurred by Baltimore City school officials. Thousands of dollars were spent on very questionable purchases, including gourmet catering, outrageously expensive hotels, extremely high-end restaurants, gifts, office showers, etc. This is a profligate waste of taxpayer money and is especially disturbing in light of the actual situation of classroom teachers.

My daughter, a Baltimore City classroom teacher, every year easily spends in excess of $1,000 out of her own pocket for classroom materials and supplies. These expenditures are never reimbursed. The most egregious example occurred when told that she must use a new piece of equipment in her classroom, she was also told that she must purchase on her own the specialized wiring required. This she did at a cost to her of $100. Again, no reimbursement. This summer, my daughter found it necessary to bring her own window unit air conditioner to her summer school teaching assignment because the temperature in her classroom was over 90 degrees.

It is unconscionable that public employees in positions of power can flaunt, with no oversight, the most basic codes of ethics. Likewise, it is unconscionable for the information technology head to spend a quarter of a million dollars refurbishing his office when there is not enough money in the budget to adequately equip classrooms and maintain school buildings.

Beverly Vawter Diaz, Towson

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