In his Sept. 8 Local Opinions commentary, “The Montgomery schools can’t afford to coast anymore,” Dan Reed worried that “many white and middle- and upper-class families are choosing private schools.” Unfortunately, I believe the reality is even more dire.

As a former PTA president, I encountered low-income parents of the most gifted African American students scrimping and saving to send kids to private schools. These parents, like other parents who choose private schools, are searching for teachers who have permission to infuse the classroom with creativity and inspiration, smaller schools with smaller class sizes, a culture that prizes intellectual and artistic engagement, and rigorous writing instruction.

I believe Montgomery County could afford to provide this sort of education for all, if we only had the political will to make it happen. And I agree with Mr. Reed that parental activism remains essential.

Susan Katz Miller, Takoma Park