In his Sept. 8 Local Opinions essay, “Maryland can afford to invest in our kids,” Benjamin Orr argued for funding the strategies promoted by the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission. Estimated to cost $1 billion over two years, the commission’s recommendations focus on early-childhood education, high-quality teachers, career-readiness and resources for at-risk students. The costs will likely trickle down to the taxpayer.
In Howard County, Superintendent Michael J. Martirano has presented a drastic redistricting proposal that affects about 7,400 students, many of whom will be bused to schools farther away to achieve socioeconomic equity. These expenditures have not been defined but will certainly be exorbitant and strain the school system’s budget, which already had a $37 million shortfall that led to cuts of para-educators and other support staff. The Board of Education will vote on this proposal in November with an incomplete study of the costs. There has been no transparency about these details, just reassurance that the county will manage.
Although achieving educational equity is worthy, we need more accountability for these massive initiatives that affect the future of our children’s education and the community.
Kendra Kay, Clarksville