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Schools need more money, business leaders told

September 30, 2000

Schools need more money, business leaders told



By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer


Money was at the root of many of the education issues raised Friday at a meeting of business, government and school leaders.

The roundtable at Hagerstown Community College was sponsored by the Greater Hagerstown Committee, a group of Tri-State business executives. The Washington County Board of Education and the Washington County Commission participated.

Business representatives asked some questions, but elected officials did most of the talking. A lack of money was a constant theme.

The County Commission lobbies for whatever education funding it can get, said Commission President Gregory J. Snook, yet the state's share has decreased.

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Richard Phoebus, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Home Federal Savings Bank and former Greater Hagerstown chairman, urged the county to push for more state money.

"Speak firmly about our convictions" to the local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, Phoebus said.

Board of Education President Paul Bailey noted that the federal government's share of special education funding is declining.

Board members said money is needed to pay teachers well and to equip schools with new technology.

Among other issues discussed were teachers' qualifications, two-income families and year-round classes.

Greater Hagerstown tries "to improve the quality of life in Washington County," said committee Chairman James Latimer, vice president of state affairs for Allegheny Energy and moderator of the discussion.

In coming months, the Greater Hagerstown Committee will meet with the Hagerstown City Council and the local delegation to the state assembly.

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