Maryland’s fiscally dismal public education crisis
In Maryland, we are experiencing a fiscally dismal public education crisis that in my estimation will continue to grow. Currently, the two largest school districts where problems exist are Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, where school budgets exceed $1 billion. How does that affect the citizens living in Calvert County? To me, it revolves around how education tax dollars are distributed and how effectively these tax dollars serve all of the citizens in Maryland.
The two Washington Post Metro section articles that I have cited below highlight some of the educational problems that exist and the budget problems all Maryland taxpayers continually bear.
In the Oct. 9 Washington Post Metro section, there was an article written by Donna St. George titled “Teacher in abuse case kept working.” The first paragraph stated: “A Head Start teacher who forced a 3-year-old to mop up his own urine and sent a mocking photo of the episode to the child’s mother was allowed to stay in a local teaching job …” Later this article stated: “Prince George’s school officials say more than 250 employees are on paid administrative leave amid allegations related to inappropriate conduct, abuse or neglect.”
I asked the superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools, Daniel Curry, how many employees are currently on administrative leave. Dr. Curry stated that: “CCPS happens to have three out at the moment while investigations proceed. They are three independent issues. I have to say that number is unusual. Three are more common for entire year.” With 250 people on administrative leave in Prince George’s, is there any wonder that local, state and federal tax dollars are unable to suffice in the educational arena?
In the Oct. 23 Washington Post Metro section, there was an article written by Donna St. George titled “School district records key shift.” In the article, this reporter states that Hispanic students in Montgomery County now are the largest enrollment group. This county is the largest school district in Maryland with over 159,000 students, where nearly 55,000 receive free or reduced-price meals. Many of these students who are eager to learn have the obstacle of English as their second language. Many different individuals quoted in this article seem confident that this highly regarded educational system will continue providing students with an outstanding learning experience; however, they all realized challenges will have to be overcome and additional revenues will be needed.
Mar yland has a debt in the billions of dollars and our federal government is almost $20 trillion in the hole. Our only hope is in the education of all our children, regardless of race or ethnicity, where they receive the education necessar y so that their ingenuity can foster prosperity. However, incompetence and neglect in education should not be tolerated. Period. After all, we are the people.
John Petralia, Sunderland