The attempt by Baltimore legislators to characterize opponents of a proposed quarter-billion-dollar school funding lawsuit settlement as racist and/or heartless is a counter-productive tactic that should be abandoned immediately. Backers of the settlement must prove that more money is really the answer here.
Right now, skeptics are pointing out that some of Maryland's rural school districts spend less per-pupil, yet achieve higher test scores. In addition, some also resent the fact that the legislature was, for the most part, left out of the settlement talks.
Some other lawmakers are upset that the agreement contains an automatic trigger to reinstate the suit, should future legislatures not agree to year-by-year funding.
When Montgomery County lawmakers began expressing doubts publicly, wondering if more money for Baltimore would mean less state cash for their area, Del. Howard Rawlings, D-Baltimore, suggested that the county's legislators had a "character defect" that prevents them from seeing how different areas of the state are tied together. State Sen. Barbara Hoffman, B-Baltimore, went further, suggesting some lawmakers feel that black children can't learn, so that any additional money spent on them would be wasted.